Harbor Seal pups to show up on the coast, and NOAA says stay away

Harbor Seal pups on the outer coast of Washington will be born from mid-April through June. Nursing pups remain with their mothers for about four to six weeks, and then are weaned to forage and survive on their own. It’s normal for harbor seal pups to be alone on the beach for extended periods of time. This does not mean they are abandoned. The best thing you can do is leave the pup alone and keep your distance!

Fisheries advises you not to disturb these animals while they’re on the beach. They use shoreline habitat on a regular basis to rest and regulate their body temperature. Keep at least 100 yards away from all marine mammal species as they carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans and pets.

All marine mammals are protected by law. You can be fined if you harass any marine mammal. If you see anyone handling or harassing a marine mammal, call the NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement at 1-800-853-1964.

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