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