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‘Shoebert’ the seal returns to Beverly area— but likely not for long, officials say

"Shoebert" was a star attraction at Beverly's Shoe Pond in September.Josh Reynolds

“Shoebert,” the celebrity seal who drew crowds to Beverly’s Shoe Pond last month, is back on the North Shore — if only likely for a short while.

The four-year old gray seal was tracked to the entrance of the Danvers River on Wednesday, according to Sarah Callan, assistant animal rescue manager at the Mystic Aquarium.

The location is only a short distance from Shoe Pond, where the seal drew public attentionand evaded several rescue attempts — until he was brought to the aquarium on Sept. 23.

On Thursday, Callan said the seal was still in the “general area” of the North Shore, but his exact location was unknown.


Aquarium officials evaluated Shoebert and released him off Block Island, R.I., on Sept. 27 — but not before affixing a satellite tag to his back to follow his movements, Callan said.

Shoebert migrated north, briefly stopping in Cape Cod, and eventually reached the city he was rescued from two weeks ago, Callan said.

However, she added that it was unlikely he would stay there for more than a few days.

“We’re not overly surprised,” she said. “He seems to be staying closer to the shoreline, unlike other seals that might be further out [in the ocean]. But if he’s not getting food, he’ll be moving on north.”

“Beverly residents might be upset to hear that,” she added.

Shoebert’s satellite location is not precise, and it is unclear where exactly in Beverly’s waters he might be, Callan said.

Callan said it is unlikely the local celebrity will return to Shoe Pond.

“It would take a lot of things lining up for that to happen,” she said. “It was an [unusually] high tide when he got in there the first time.”

More likely, Shoebert will continue traveling north to more abundant hunting grounds, Callan said, helping researchers study seal migration patterns that are not yet fully understood.


Camilo Fonseca can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @fonseca_esq.