The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration politely asked selfie-seekers to refrain from their favorite pastime while in the vicinity of a seal pup. The agency explained that taking selfies with a seal pup can put in peril both the animal’s and human’s live.
NOAA seeks to raise the public awareness on the dangers of wildlife selfies. As the seal birthing season is underway, there are a lot of seal pups on the beaches that look stranded. But wildlife researchers explained that the pups are just resting or waiting for their mothers to come and feed them.
So, approaching one such animal left on the beach could put both the animal and the selfie-seeker at risk. Experts noted that seal moms often leave their pups alone on the shore while looking for food. It can take up to 24 hours for a female seal to get back to her offspring after a hunting session.
So, if female seals see that their pups are surrounded by people or animals they may only return at night when all the commotion is over or simply abandon their pups. Seal experts warn that pups left unattended will surely die. A seal pup needs its mother’s attention for about 3 to 4 weeks.
Also abstain from moving a baby seal around or resist the temptation of taking it home. Its mother needs to find it in the exact spot she had left it or it will leave it to starve to death.
NOAA also warned that adult seals have a nasty bite so refrain from getting to close to their pups. Plus, because seal pups are naturally curious they may approach you even if you stay yards away. Those moments could prove crucial for the pup’s live, if its mother is watching and decides that it doesn’t worth the risk of reuniting with it at the moment.
And on top of that, you could also be fined for illegal harassment of wildlife. So, according to NOAA, it is safer to stay at least 50 yards away from the wild animals when strolling on the beach. Mendy Garron of NOAA explained that this is the safeest and recommended distance to allow the mothers to return. Also make sure that your pet doesn’t get too close to the pup.
Image Source: Wikimedia