Seal Soaks Up the Sun on the Isle of Manhattan

The gray seal on the beach in upper Manhattan is a she.

She was still lolling in the sun on Thursday as the temperature climbed into the 60s. A biologist from the Riverhead Foundation, a marine-animal rescue group that has been keeping tabs on the animal, got a somewhat closer look and reported that she appeared to be all right.

Robert DiGiovanni, Riverhead’s director, said that a foundation biologist went “within a couple of feet of the animal” and that she was alert and appeared to be “in good body condition.”

“We’re going to continue to monitor her behavior,” he said.

The seal arrived on Wednesday afternoon, emerging from the Hudson River and claiming a spot on a small beach at the western end of Dyckman Street. Soon people were watching her every move — though, like a sun worshiper diligently working on her tan, she was not moving all that much. She had the moves of a celebrity who wanted would-be paparazzi to keep their distance. On Wednesday she growled and thumped the sand when people with cameras stepped closer than she wanted.

And yes, Mr. DiGiovanni said on Thursday, she appeared to be a she, based on her light gray coat with dark spots. “That’s what we’re going with without trying to poke her and have her roll over,” he said, adding that male seals would have a different coloration.

The city’s Parks Department, whose rangers had also been keeping tabs on her, referred a call about her on Thursday afternoon to the foundation.

Her fans continued to make their way to the beach for a look. Susan Elmes, who teaches economics at Columbia University, walked from her apartment in Inwood to see the seal.

“It’s exciting to see animals coming back to New York,” she said, adding that she had seen skunks in Inwood, groundhogs in Fort Tryon Park and raccoons in Central Park — and had heard about deer in a parking lot in the Bronx.

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