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Ribbon seal far from Arctic home in good shape

ribbon_seal.jpg
The Associated Press
In this photo provided by NOAA, a ribbon seal is seen Friday, Jan. 20 on a dock in Marysville, Wash. The ribbon seal is commonly found in the frigid waters off the coasts of Alaska and Russia, but has recently been spotted in the Seattle area.

EVERETT, Wash. — An Arctic ribbon seal rarely seen in Puget Sound has had its southerly sojourn interrupted for a medical checkup that shows the male is in good health.

Marine mammal experts from NOAA fisheries in Seattle threw a net over the white-striped seal on an Everett dock Tuesday and held him for a 20-minute examination.

The 185-pound adult male is believed to be the same ribbon seal that was seen recently in the Seattle area.

Researchers are unsure why it's so far from its home waters off Alaska and Russia.

NOAA's Kristin Wilkinson told The Daily Herald the seal may have been caught in a storm or it may have been chasing food. She says there are a lot of shrimp in Puget Sound right now.

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