People urged to leave seal pups alone

Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- People who find seal pups on Alaska beaches from now until mid-June should leave well-enough alone, a federal fisheries official said Monday.

The seal pups, born during the peak birthing period, may look abandoned but in most cases the mother is at sea feeding and will return to her young.

''Although their intentions are well-meant, individuals who remove seal pups from beaches may eliminate the possibility of a pup reuniting with its mother,'' said Kaja Brix, wildlife biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service Alaska Region.

It is better to not touch the pups or even approach them, Brix said.

People who harass a seal pup or any other marine mammal can be fined up to $10,000 under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

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