NOAA Says No “Seal Selfies”, Please Leave Them Be
Leave those puppies alone!
Apparently, the "seal selfie" is a thing, and NOAA says that it's receiving daily reports about seals and their pups throughout Maine and New England being harassed.
The author of the Instagram post above left this comment about the amount of photos he had taken: "yes I got a ton got with in 2 feet of this big guy"
Gray seal "pupping" season is happening right now, and it will be soon followed by Harbor seal season in May. Young seals tire, and make their way to shore to rest. But rest assured, more often than not, mama seal is very close by.
As a matter of fact, Seals are semi-aquatic animals, which means they spend quite a bit of time on land.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reminds us that getting too close to seals will stress them out and may cause injury to both you and the seal. They recommend that both humans and their pets stay at least 150 feet away from seals.
So forget about the seal selfie, and break out the zoom lens.
By the way, seals bite, and a seal bite could cause a serious infection.
Harbor seals here in Maine can grow anywhere from 180 to 285 lbs. and up to 5 to 6 feet long. They live as long as 25 to 30 years old.
According to the NOAA website, the biggest threats that harbor seals face are:
Entanglement, Illegal feeding and harassment, Habitat degradation, Chemical contaminants, Oil spills and energy exploration, Vessel collisions, Disturbance, Disease
Remember, most seals that are "beached" are probably just there resting, enjoying the sun, and waiting for that shark out in the harbor to leave. But if you truly believe that you've discovered an injured seal, then you can report it to the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, at 207-288-5644. Or, Maine Animal Lifeline at 207-773-7377.