Every summer, harbor seal pups come on shore and we must learn to share the beach with them. Unfortunately for these young animals, as they learn life on their own (it only takes 4 weeks for them to be weaned and completely independent from their mother!), they tend to pick some crowded or awkward beaches to rest on. The best thing you can do for them is keep your distance and call our stranding hotline - 617-973-5247.
|The majority of the time, seals are just resting on the beach. This harbor seal pup picked some good rocks to rest on. They come out to rest, so don't be surprised if they look tired.|
Sometimes seals, like the one above, sustain wounds. Not all are life threatening though so when you call our hotline, remaining calm and using the best description of the wound is extremely helpful. We may ask for photos to assess, but you should remember not to get too close. Seals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act so it is illegal to harass them in any way (anything that will alter their natural behavior). The above photo shows a seal that was closely approached by the photographer, so he is unable to rest as he would normally do on the beach.
|Keep in mind sometimes these young pups rest in awkward places, as you can see in the above photo where the seal is resting on the stairs.|
|Some people get concerned about seals being on such rocky beaches as well, but it is natural for them to rest on rocks and we are not alarmed when we see some superficial abrasions from the rough environment.|
|You can see the fish hook in the seal's mouth.|