Listen

News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV
'Jazz'

member station

NPR
The Two-Way

New England, Back Away From The Seal Pups

479671499_1276836780.jpg

A young harbor seal lounges on top of seaweed near Cundy's Harbor, Maine, in 2000. As pupping season and Memorial Day weekend collide, New Englanders are being asked to stay away from seals.
Pat Wellenbach, AP
A young harbor seal lounges on top of seaweed near Cundy's Harbor, Maine, in 2000. As pupping season and Memorial Day weekend collide, New Englanders are being asked to stay away from seals.

Attention, New Englanders: You may see a seal pup on the beach this weekend, and you may be tempted to take a selfie with it. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration is asking that you please resist that urge.

There will be more babies about because it's pupping season in the region, but it's not good for you or the seal to get too close, says the Greater Atlantic Region of the NOAA Fisheries. You might get bitten, a statement from the group said on Thursday, and if the mom sees you cozying up to her pup, she might not come back for it.

"It might only take a few seconds for you to snap the photo, but the mother may abandon her pup if she feels threatened," the group said. "For the seal pup, the consequences can be devastating."

NOAA rescued seven endangered Hawaiian monk seal pups that had been abandoned or malnourished last year, as The Associated Press reported. The pups have been rehabilitated and were released back to the wild this spring.

The agency recommends staying at least 150 feet away from seals — that's farther than a selfie stick, people.

Support comes from

We'll note that selfies taken by seals themselves are allowed under certain circumstances. For example, Milo here is a pro:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.