Officials from NOAA Fisheries have recently announced that hikers, anglers, campers, and beachgoers should stay away from seal pups and other wild animals they might see on the beach.
People sometimes believe that these animals are abandoned and decide to take care of them on their own. But taking care of a wild animal without the appropriate knowledge is very dangerous. You will most likely kill the animal by feeding it with the wrong food.
This kind of actions has recently led to the death of two seal pups. And this does not happen only on the beaches but throughout the United States forests and reservations. According to the National Park Service, these ‘rescue initiatives’ are labeled as illegal, dangerous, and highly inappropriate.
One of the seal pups was found at a Westport beach in May, but veterinarians had to euthanize it because the pup was lethargic and unresponsive after it had been carried in a reusable shopping bag for a long time.
The second pup died later, whereas the third pup was brought by experts to the same location from where it was taken hoping to be reunited with its mother. The fourth baby seal was taken to a rehabilitation facility to receive intensive treatment.
According to the NOAA officials, this is the period when seal pups are born along the coast and around Puget Sound. These pups will stay with their mothers between four and six weeks until they will be able to hunt for food on their own.
Sometimes, harbor seal pups can often be seen coming out of the water for a couple of days in a row, but that does not mean they have been abandoned by their mothers. During this time, their mothers could be away hunting while the pups wait on the beach for their arrival with food.
In addition to this, some seal pups might be standing on the beach to regulate their body temperature or to rest. Experts underline that beachgoers and tourists can bring their contribution by just keeping the distance from these wild animals.
Feeding or trying to feed seals and other marine animals is labeled as illegal, and it can cause a lot of stress to the animal. By doing this people risk affecting the natural behavior of the wild animals. If seal pups, their mothers, or any marine mammals start moving towards the water or staring at you, it means you are too close.
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