Adorable Seal Pups Again on Oregon Coast - But Officials Have Warnings
Published 04/25/2016 at 7:11 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Oregon Coast) – Those adorable seal pups have started arriving on the Oregon coast, and with the pupping season comes another reminder to leave them alone. Trying to help them could actually kill them, warn officials. (Photos courtesy Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium).
Seaside Aquarium's Tiffany Boothe said the facility received its first two reports of seal pups on the beach over the weekend. This typically starts in April and often peaks in May, with more peppered throughout the early summer months.
“Harbor seal babies (called pups) are born in spring and summer and can be found resting on the beach while their mothers search for food,” Boothe said. “Well-meaning people sometimes think that a baby seal alone on the beach has been abandoned, but this is not the case. The mother is often nearby, watching, but will not approach with people around. If the baby seal is moved, it has no chance of reuniting with its mother. “
This most often results in the death of the seal pup. Do not, under any circumstances, touch or try to move the pup. Lingering too close also stresses out the animal. Breaking these rules is also illegal and could get you trouble with the law.
If you see a baby seal alone on the beach, leave it alone and call either the Seaside Aquarium at 503-738-6211 or the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network Hotline at 1-866-767-6114 so they can post signs around the seal. You can also call Oregon State Police at 1-800-452-7888.
Jim Rice, mammal expert with the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, said they are like all babies: they need to sleep a lot.
Bystanders should stay at least 50 yards away and keep their dogs leashed, Rice said.
“After suckling for about four weeks, weaned pups are abandoned by their mothers, left to fend for themselves,” Rice added. “They will continue to come onto beaches periodically to rest as they grow and learn how to catch their own food.”
Seaside Aquarium manager Keith Chandler said he's had to respond to some outlandish situations involving pups in the past, including having to barge in on someone's hotel room to rescue a seal they had placed in the bath tub. Where to stay for this - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour
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