PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) –As the investigation into who dumped the body of a baby seal on a Providence street unfolds, scientists at Mystic Aquarium have solved one part of the mystery.
A representative for the aquarium said scientists determined the seal – which was discovered on Evergreen St. Monday – was already dead before being moved to the dump site.
- Related: Seal pup’s body dumped in Providence
Scientists were able to match spot patterns of the deceased seal with pictures of a seal recently found dead on an area beach. However, citing the continuing investigation, the representative would not reveal the location of that beach.
The seal, which was determined to be a female pup about 1 or 2 years old, was left in the street in front of an unoccupied home. A hand-written cardboard sign was propped up next to the carcass read, “FREE SEAL.”
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who took custody of the body Monday, took the seal to Mystic for a necropsy.
Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972, it’s illegal for a person to take a marine mammal, living or deceased, from United States waters or land. Convicted violators may face a fine of up to $20,000, up to a year in prison, or both.