As it is seal pupping season and time for these adorable seals to litter the beaches of New England, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a few warnings to say before you take out your camera phone. The most important being: Don’t take selfies with seals.
As cute as they are and as tempting as it is to upload your potential photos together, these seals should not be approached, let alone be taken a selfie with. The NOAA advises that there should be at least 45 meters (150 feet) of space between visitors or tourists from the seals and their pups. Try to keep this distance even if the pup approaches you. With this way, you’re saving yourself from a nasty bite or attack and the possibility of stressing the seal pup out. Apparently there have been incidences of seal bites and injuries just because they got to close to the frightened seal pup.
Not only that, but you could even leave the pup at risk of being abandoned by its parents just by getting too close to them since the mama seal may not come back to her pup if she thinks it’s not safe. According to the NOAA, “It might only take a few seconds for you to snap the photo, but the mother may abandon her pup if she feels threatened. For the seal pup, the consequences can be devastating.”
What’s more is that harassing or distressing marine animals is illegal and could land you in heaps of trouble as stated under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Yikes! So the next time you really want to take pictures of a cute and charming seal on your vacation, try using the zoom feature on your camera instead.