EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Winter may not be the best for people to enjoy the sun and sand, but seals don’t seem to mind it.

Two people spotted a young seat waddling in Emerald Isle Wednesday morning. Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Patrol set up a perimeter around the animal to keep curious people away. Volunteers took shifts throughout the day to ensure no one endangered it.

Patrol members say the seal left the beach sometime after 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

“Nothing that I saw was atypical, or unusual,” said Wayne Justice, special activities coordinator at the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. “A happy seal often has its head up and its feet up and all of the pictures that I saw (Wednesday), it looked like a banana almost, and it looked like a very happy and healthy seal based on what I saw.”

“Actually I think he was so excited to be on our beach, and maybe he was intrigued by having all the people come visit him,” said Dale Baquer at Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Patrol.

Employees from the state aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores say seals are regular visitors in Emerald Isle, especially during the winter.