Animal rescuers in New York state said a harp seal ended up in Long Island due to unseasonably warm weather and has now been rehabilitated.

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The Riverhead Foundation said the 1-year-old seal, named Pepper, was rescued from the Long Island shore March 8 after apparently becoming disoriented in the unseasonably warm weather.

Pepper was found to have made himself sick by eating sand and rocks -- a result of the common harp seal stress response of eating snow and ice -- but veterinarians were able to bring him back to health at the foundation's facility, located behind the Long Island Aquarium.

Pepper was released Friday at Tiana Beach in Hampton Bays. The public was invited to attend the event.