SANDY HOOK - Officials have released five gray seals back into the ocean following several months of rehabilitation by the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine.

The seals were rescued over the winter from up and down the Jersey Shore after they got stuck on land. They were brought back to good health while at the center.

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center’s Sheila Dean says the center only takes the animals away if they believe they are in distress.

“If we think that animal needs intervention or is in any way sick or injured we will go and pick them up,” she says. “If they seem to be resting, then we leave them be.”

The center runs strictly on donations and grants. Over the winter, they took in more than 60 seals from across the state.