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Increase in seal sightings prompts plea: Leave them alone

February 8, 2019

Leave the seals alone.

That’s the message from Waterford-East Lyme Animal Control after a resting seal attracted people’s attention at an southeastern Connecticut beach this week.

There have been similar reports from Stratford and Westport, including one in which people tried to take selfies with seals.

“People may notice seals resting on our beaches, this is perfectly normal,” the animal control unit posted on Facebook.

“If there are visible injuries we can contact the experts at the Mystic Marine LIfe Aquarium can respond to evaluate it. Please do not approach the seal, federal law requires you stay 150 feet away, do not try to touch or handle the seal, do not let your dog approach it, do not gather around it to take selfies, please just leave it alone so it can rest and return to the water.”

Animal control added, “even using the zoom lens feature, it is difficult if not impossible for us to make a visual examination of the seal to determine if it is injured while staying 150 feet away, the intent of the law is not to prevent animal rescue professionals from checking on the seal. this photograph was taken by me at the request of the marine life rescue team so they could determine if the animal needed attention.”

Mystic Aquarium also reported an increase in seal sightings along the Connecticut shoreline.

It says if you encounter a seal:

Call Mystic Aquarium’s 24-hour hotline at (860) 572-5955, ext. 107

Do not touch the animal

Give it plenty of space -crowding may cause it to stress out of act aggressively

Keep pets away from the animal

Do not pour water on the animal, feed it or help them in any way

Be observant and note if the animal has any physical signs of injury or distress, such as eating sand.

As for the seal that was resting on the East Lyme beach, animal control reported: “This seal has returned to the water and is off doing seal things.”

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