Authorities on Thursday appeared to be closing in on the seal that's been swimming happily in a Massachusetts pond for about a week.
Wildlife workers with big nets were stationed around Shoe Pond in Beverly, where the grey seal, nicknamed Shoebert, was first spotted last week. An official in a rowboat was seen on the water near the seal.
Shoebert's capture would bring to an end a charming saga that's delighted people in the area. The seal took up residence in the pond next to the Cummings Center office park, which is a few blocks from the ocean.
The animal earned the local police department's seal of approval: "Beverly Police Supports Shoebert!!!" they wrote
Police, Beverly Animal Control, NOAA's wildlife division and others had been telling the public that Shoebert appeared happy and healthy. At one point, the seal traveled between the upper and lower parts of the pond on its own.
But by Wednesday, they appeared to be considering intervening.
NOAA officials said they were "consulting with our local stranding network partners ... to consider all options that ensure the continued well being of the seal." And on Thursday morning, Beverly firefighters tweeted that NOAA was "considering plans for possible relocation" to keep the seal — and people gawking at him — safe.