HONESDALE, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Wayne County man claims he saw a seal in Honesdale over the weekend.
John Fotusky said he and his brother David were hanging out along the Lackawaxen River when John spotted the seal.
His cell phone video quickly went viral with more than 200,000 views on Facebook, earning the “mystery animal” an appropriate nickname — the “Lack” Ness Monster after Lackawaxen River.
“At first, I do think a lot of people thought that we were just trying to pull off some crazy prank,” said John. “But that wasn’t the case! We all saw the seal!”
The video caught the attention of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in New Jersey, a non-profit that responds to marine animals in distress.
Director Bob Schoelkopf told Eyewitness News the “Lack” Ness Monster appears to be a harbor seal, and it’s not far-fetched for them to travel up rivers, following food sources.
But this seal would’ve likely made it from the Delaware Bay, to the Delaware River, all the way to the Lackawaxen River in Honesdale.
He said the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission disagrees with his organization and told him it’s probably an otter.
Schoelkopf said there’s no reason right now to find the animal and rescue it, because if it is a seal, it has access to food and will likely go back down south.
But he wants to remind everyone that harbor seals are protected animals, so no one should get close enough to disturb it.