By Alex Napoliello | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on April 17, 2017 at 2:32 PM, updated April 18, 2017 at 7:09 P
BRIGANTINE -- The calls have been pouring in from every town along the 130 miles of coastline in New Jersey.
Seals are showing up on Jersey Shore beaches at rates that have officials taking to social media to warn beach-goers to stay clear.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center is currently at maximum capacity with 15 gray seal pups at its Brigantine-based headquarters. The seals are about 2 months old.
Center Director Bob Schoelkopf said officials are trying to get five of the seals released early to make room. Schoelkopf said the center has received an average of about three calls a day from concerned officials and residents alike.
One of those seals had to be nursed back to health after it was found March 26 in Manasquan with shark bites on its stomach.
Some seals, he said, officials can chase back into the ocean. But others are slightly undernourished and in need of care before being released.
"It takes some time," Schoelkopf said. "When we bring them in, we'll fatten them up a little bit and then turn them loose."