Monday morning there was a seal hauled out at Good Harbor and folks were taking selfies with the worn out little feller. Here’s what do if you come upon a seal that appears to be stranded on the beach.
DOS and DON’TS of Interacting with Seals on the Beach
DO stay at least one hundred and fifty feet away from the seal.
DO observe (from a distance, with binoculars or camera lens) for any outward sign of injury, bleeding or net entanglement, for example. If the seal appears injured, call this number: 866-755-6622 at the Northeast Region Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding and Entanglement Hotline.
DON’T try to feed the seal.
DON’T cover up the seal with a blanket.
DON’T pour water on the seal.
DON’T let your dog anywhere near the seal (dangerous for both animals).
DON’T try to help the seal back into the water.
DON’T take a selfie with the seal.
Harbor Seals are semi-aquatic and it is perfectly natural for a seal to beach themselves. Seals haul out all year round, and for a variety of reasons. They use rocks, reefs, and beaches. The seal may need to rest, for thermal regulation (to warm up), to molt, to give birth, to socialize with other seals, or are trying to escape danger, such as a shark. When you force the seal back into the water by getting too close and frightening the creature, before it is ready to return to the sea, you are potentially causing the seal a great deal of harm.