Beach babies — leave them be (2014)

Fur seal pup on the Oregon shore

This young Northern fur seal took a nap near Nehalem Bay State Park on New Year’s Day.

It’s normal for young marine mammals (seals and sea lions in Oregon) to rest on the shore. If they’re pups, their mothers are more than likely hunting and feeding in the waters offshore. Although our first reaction is to do something, it’s best to stay away and let them be.

Nehalem Bay State Park Ranger Shelley Parker said there are a few things to remember if you see a seal or sea lion of any age on the beach:

  • Give the animal plenty of space–100 yards, or the length of a football field. Binoculars are great for watching the animal.
  • Leash your pets and keep them away.
  • Don’t pour water on them, or attempt to handle, cover or feed them.
  • You can let a ranger know when an animal is next to a state park. We can post signs warning visitors to keep their distance.
  • If the animal is hurt or in distress, or you see someone disturbing, moving, touching or feeding the animal (it’s against the law), call the Oregon State Police Tipline, 800-452-7888.

For information about stranded animals, visit the NOAA Fisheries website.

Posted on January 15, 2014, in state parks, wildlife and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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