180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita,
Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City,
Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats & Florence.
Don't Touch Baby Seals, Remind Oregon Coast
|Baby seal lounging on beach (photo Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium)
(Oregon Coast) - They’re cute, cuddly,
and oh-so tempting to go and pet and play with. Plus, they look lonely
and abandoned on the beach, and this brings out some paternal instincts
in you to go and help.
But you’re not helping - you’re doing far more
damage by attempting to “help” a baby seal on the beach.
Officials on the Oregon coast are getting anxious again
as baby seal season kickstarts right about now. Little cuddly, fuzzy harbor
seal pups will start showing up on the beaches in greater numbers soon,
just as the numbers of tourists begin to increase.
Don’t touch them under any circumstance, say officials,
because they’re mothers are waiting nearby.
Tiffany Boothe, of the Seaside
Aquarium, said sometimes when these adorable creatures wander onto
the beach, the public is temped to grab them or otherwise mistake them
for being in danger or in need of saving. But that is not the case, and
you should leave them alone.
see a seal on the beach, do not assume it’s been abandoned by its
mother, said Boothe. In fact, if anything the opposite is true.
“Well-meaning people who remove seal pups from beaches
are eliminating the possibility of the pup being reunited with their mother,”
said Tiffany Boothe, of the Seaside Aquarium. “They’re also
violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and they may face criminal
and or civil penalties. The best thing for you to do is to keep well away
from this seal pup, thereby reducing stress on the pup and or alarming
Already one pup has shown up at Warrenton, said Keith Chandler,
manager of the aquarium. It appeared in the vicinity of boat docks and
had some local fishermen concerned – and rightly so. Aquarium staff
– who are also part of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network –
responded to the scene and posted signs that said to stay away.
Ocean Lodge. There will not be another property built
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“We’ve already had this one, and I’m
sure there will be more as the year goes on,” Chandler said.
Harbor seal pupping season is now through July, Chandler
said, but you may find some in August and September.
just fine on land,” Chandler said. “Their mothers are waiting
for them somewhere nearby. And she won’t come back to get the seal
until the people are gone. Yeah, they’re cute and all that. That’s
great. Just leave them alone.
“They are just little babies, and like any baby,
they need to sleep a lot. That’s what they’re onshore doing.”
Last year in April, two seal pups wandered up in different
areas of the north coast – both of them apparently newborn. These
were some of the more serious interferences by humans in recent years.
One arrived on the waterfront at Astoria, where it was
picked up by a man police described as “difficult to communicate
with.” He walked around town with it until he was nabbed by police.
|Boothe poses with an especially adorable
baby seal after setting up signs making sure the public stays away
The other wandered up to a spot south of Cannon Beach,
where several people attempted to put it back in the water. Later, someone’s
dog attacked the cuddly little guy.
The baby seal that was bitten by a dog was soon picked up by a well-meaning
man who noticed its wounds. The wounds were not life threatening, but
the man took the little creature a few miles up the road to Mo’s
Chowder in Cannon Beach. There, staff called the aquarium, which in turn
told him to take it back to where he found it.
The important thing to remember, say aquarium officials,
is that the mother needs to be able to find it again.
Also coming up in the summertime and spring is the molting
season for elephant seal yearlings. At the end of their first year, these
larger critters wind up on the beach, shedding skin and fur, often visibly
|Elephant seal molting on the beach at Manzanita
These too are protected under the law and should be left
alone for different reasons, besides the fact they’ll probably bite
you if you get too close. These creatures are about five feet in length
as well, so they’re considerably larger and more dangerous than
a seal pup. This is just part of their normal life process. As unpleasant
as it may seem, there’s nothing you can do or should do.
Elephant seal molting season happens now through the fall,
There are other problems with touching these, or any other
creatures washed up on the beach – especially the dead bodies of
mammals or fish.
Boothe said touching these creatures presents possible
health problems. Any kind of marine mammal found dead or alive poses a
potential health risk, and untrained people coming into contact with them
risk exposing themselves, domestic animals and marine mammals to various
types of diseases.
In 2006, Boothe and Chandler were alerted to various dead
marine mammals that had washed up on shore, including a sea lion whose
head had been removed. Such actions, say Boothe and Chandler, seriously
pose a risk to those who had perpetrated such illegal acts.
|Chandler inspects a wounded sea lion near Astoria - an angry and
unpleasant creature that should really be left alone as these are
Chandler said others in the past have done a variety of
really stupid things when it comes to stranded seal pups. One group a
few years ago picked the pup up and kept it in the bathtub of their hotel
room, then called the aquarium.
Other people have grabbed the creatures and kept them in
their car for a while as well.
“We can’t take these or rehabilitate them,”
Booth said. “So we always tell them to take them back to where they
found them. Otherwise, their mother can’t find them.”
Disease is one of many reasons the aquarium cannot accept
or help seals on the beach: they can’t risk infecting their current
pool full of seals.
To report other incidents of marine mammal strandings
on Oregon beaches, call 1-800-452-7888.
Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s
and in-room phones w/ data ports. Oceanfronts have queen bed, a
double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and private deck.
Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed for a two-person
romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. Elaborate
oceanfront Jacuzzi suite has two bedrooms, kitchen, double hide-a-bed,
fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For family
reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect
to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms pet friendly.
523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938.
at Cannon Beach. Beautifully wooded natural setting at quiet south
end of Cannon Beach. Great during winter storms with a new book by
the fireplace – or when the sun is out for family fun and beach
strolling. Handsome beach cottage-style architecture. Lush flowering
gardens and naturalized courtyard pond. Warm, inviting guest rooms.
Continental buffet breakfast. Warm Cookies. Family and Pet Friendly.
Welcome gifts. Smoke-free. Complimentary Wireless Connectivity. Wine
and book signing events. 800-321-6304 or 503-436-9085. Hemlock At
Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.
Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Free, fresh baked
cookie upon check-in is just the start. All rooms beachfront and
up against Lincoln City's most famous stretch of beach: the D River.
Each room comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen and
balcony or patio. Some w/ gas fireplaces, while all have a DVD Players;
movies to rent come with free popcorn. Heated indoor pool, a spa,
and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms sleep from two, four
to six - including a deluxe fireplace suite. Gift certificates orspecial
occasion packages. www.dsandsmotel.com.
171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.
Cape Property Services.
Dozens of homes in that dreamy,
rugged stretch between Cannon Beach and Manzanita known as Arch
Cape. Oceanfront and ocean view , or just a short walk from the
All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with
a fee). Some with broadband, indoor or outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces,
decks, and fire pits or barbecues. Call about tempting winter specials
that go until March (not valid holidays, however). www.archcaperentals.com
At Spanish Head, Lincoln City. Lincoln City’s only resort
hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled
against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Dine
in penthouse restaurant and bar, for casual meal or candlelight
dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other
Northwest favorites, including decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range
from bedrooms to studios to 1-bedroom suites with microwaves and
refrigerators to full kitchens. Also, wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise
room and year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game
room and easy beach access. Full-service conference/meeting rooms
for that inspirational retreat; extensive wedding possibilities.
4009 SW Highway 101, Lincoln City. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161.
here for video of Dec. storm aftermath
Coast Best of Awards for the Year And the winners
are: best of Oregon coast restaurants, lodgings, science, odd events
in nature and stunning moments for 2007
Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change
and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping
Cool Ideas for Oregon Coast Romance Be it the season
of Valentine's or be it any time of the year, Oregon's coastline has
essentially cornered the market for cuddle-inducing possibilities and
gushy activities for the hand-holding set
or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's
more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major
Coast Travel Site Goes Wireless Provides Lodging Reports
- Oregon Coast Beach Connection now has mobile lodging and dining listings,
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Where the Columbia meets the Pacific,
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fun & broad, sandy beaches
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yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries & an art mecca
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The hidden secret of the coast: Cape
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cliffs and whales, whales, whales
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A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy