A Connecticut man said he spotted what appeared to be a harp seal feasting on a fish across the street from his Hartford home.
Brian Morelli said he was standing on a ridge above the Park River across the street from his home Jan. 4 when he turned to look at the source of a loud splash and came face-to-face with an unusual animal for the area, The Hartford Courant reported Tuesday.
"This big seal came out of the water with a fish and proceeded to eat it," he said.
Morelli said he and his wife, Nanette, showed pictures of the animal's tracks to friends with knowledge of marine life who determined it was likely a harp seal, native to the far north of the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean.
"People have said they would have believed me more if I said I saw a UFO," Morelli said.
Janelle Schuh, coordinator of sea mammal rescues for the Mystic Aquarium, said harp seal sightings in Hartford aren't common, but they aren't impossible.
"While a harp seal sighting in Hartford is not as common as in coastal areas, I would not consider a sighting unusual," Schuh said. "Just as other animals do, harp seals follow their food and fish, and (that) can lead them to different locations throughout our region."