The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently offered a friendly piece of advice to all selfie-seekers strolling on the nation’s beaches: refrain from taking selfies with lone seal pups.
The agency explained that apparently-abandoned seal pups resting on the beach is a common occurrence this season. But be wary that the pups you may see carelessly lying on the shore are either taking a nap or waiting for their mothers to come and feed them.
An adult female seal can go hunting for up to 24 hours and leave her pup unattended, experts explained. Yet, if she returns and sees a lot of commotion around her pup she will either return later or abandon the pup.
Seal pups need to be attended between three to four weeks before they can go and hunt on their own. Wildlife experts warn that a recently born seal pup left unattended will certainly die.
So, NOAA urges beachgoers to refrain from taking selfies with the adorable animals and moving the animals from the site they have found them. If you do so, the pup’s mother may never find it or leave it to starve to death.
But taking a selfie with a seal pup may put your life at risk too. NOAA researchers said that the bite of a seal is particularly powerful, and no selfie stick is long enough to prevent the animals from leaving a long-lasting impression.
“Getting too close to a wild animal puts you – and the animal – at risk,”
NOAA recently said in a statement.
So, according to NOAA it is best to stay 50 yards away from any apparently stranded seal pup. Also, make sure that your pet doesn’t get closer than that to the furry animal. Its mother may consider that it is too risky to get back to her pup and she may never return.
NOAA had to put up with other selfie-related incidents as tourists put their lives at risk while approaching wildlife. For instance, last year, a woman was attacked by a group of bison after getting too close to the animals to take a snapshot.
In February, Argentinean beachgoers pulled a baby dolphin from the sea for a selfie session which killed it. World Animal Protection said after the incident that wildlife are not “toys or photo props.”
Image Source: Flickr