Marine experts warn people, pets to stay away from seals on the beach. Here's why
If you "seal" something, say something - that's what marine experts from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center are telling Jersey Shore residents as seals are more frequently seen sleeping on the beaches.
Marine experts warn to stay back and keep your pets away from them.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center is rehabilitating nine seals found along the beaches. They're pups, only 3 months old. In about a month, they'll head north and follow the food source. Until then, they'll be seen resting on the beaches. Anyone who sees a seal should stay back at least 150 feet and give the center a call so they can document the location. Harassing a seal is illegal.
"You can be fined several thousand dollars," says Bob Schoelkopf, founding director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center. "They are federally protected animals. Anybody getting too close, that's considered harassment - or if your dog bites or you chasing animal back in, that's harassment. If you're caught [on] videotape, like there are so many people with cameras there ... you can be fined."
The center is getting ready to release two of its rehabilitated seals back into the ocean next week.