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No Selfies with the Seals, Say Oregon Coast Officials; Other Wildlife Warnings

Published 06/23/23 at 5:21 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

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(Oregon Coast) – It's a cutesy way to put it, but it's true: No selfies with the seals lying around the Oregon coast. Nor any other kind of juvenile wildlife, either. (Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium)

There are various young ones being born right now, both onshore and offshore – which includes fawns in the forests and others. If you find one of these adorable little ones, do not get near enough to take a selfie with, said Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) in a recent statement.

“Instead, please keep your distance from seals and sea lions resting on the beach or rocks,” ODFW said. “Harbor seal pupping is in full swing, and you might see a lone pup on the beach while Mom is off feeding. She’s unlikely to rejoin her pup if you’re too close.”

There's even more reasons to stay away from the wee beasties on the beach.

“Other marine mammals seen on beaches in summer include California sea lions stopping to rest during their journey south to breed,” ODFW said. “And elephant seals are molting now – while it isn’t pretty, these animals are not sick.”

Those meaning to help may be well-intentioned, but they'll wind up doing exactly the harm they're hoping to circumvent. It is also very illegal. Marine mammal strandings should be reported to OSP's hotline at 1-800-452-7888.

Oregon Coast Beach Connection covered a run of such bad choices in 2006 and '07, some of which displayed sheer ill-intent.

Photo Seaside Aquarium / Tiffany Boothe

In September of 2006, a man was arrested for drunk driving near Florence, and authorities found a baby seal in his van. Even worse, he had clearly let his dog bite the seal, hurting it fairly badly. It would've died soon had it not been discovered.

It was treated at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport and then sequestered in an outdoor area in the hopes of teaching it to hunt on its own and without human imprinting.

Also see S. Oregon Coast Baby Seal Incident More Complex, as Someone (Mostly) Did the Right Thing With Driftwood

A series of daft decisions affected baby seals in 2007, which included another baby seal turned in to Mo's in Cannon Beach by a beachgoer. That seal had clearly been attacked by a dog as well. Around the same time, a baby seal resting on the shores of Astoria was picked up by a man and carried through downtown.

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Photos below Seaside Aquarium

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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