NOAA Asks Public to Watch for Gray Seal Pups on the Shoreline

Seals - WinterHYANNIS – NOAA Fisheries is reminding the public to respect wildlife by maintaining a safe distance of at least 150 feet from seals.

From December through February, gray seals give birth on islands and shoreline areas in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Gray seal pups are born with a white, fluffy coat and nurse from the mother for up to 17 days.

“A mother seal may be off feeding when someone comes across a seal pup on the beach,” said Mendy Garron, marine mammal stranding program coordinator for NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region. “The best thing you can do is keep people and pets away from the seal pup, so the mother has a chance to return.”

Seal pups are often higher up on the beach, near the high tide line or even in the dunes, for protection while the mother is away.

If an animal may be in trouble, call a local Marine Mammal Stranding Network member or the NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional 24-hour hotline at 1-866-755-6622.

NOAA is also asking the public to keep pets on leashes, do not touch the seal and never feed the seal.

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