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Beach goers: keep away from seals and sea lions 

Seal pup
- Photo: Kathy Munsel. -

May 8, 2012

GOLD BEACH, Ore. – Pacific harbor seal pupping season is in full swing on the Oregon coast. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists ask beach goers to stay away from seals and sea lions resting on rocks or beaches.

Marine biologist Susan Riemer says that often a mother harbor seal will leave her pup on shoreline rocks or the beach while she heads out to sea to feed. “It’s best for the pup to leave it alone. Human activity around it can discourage the female from returning to feed and care for her pup,” Riemer said.

Other marine mammals can be seen this time of year. California sea lions are migrating south to breed for the summer, stopping to rest on Oregon beaches. Elephant seals are in the molting stage right now and may look sick, but molting is a natural process.

Seals and California sea lions use beaches as a resting spot when feeling tired or ill and should be left alone. People should not approach them, or try to feed or help them. It’s important to keep dogs away as well.

If a marine animal is obviously sick or injured, people can call the OSU Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at (541) 270-6830.




Susan Riemer, ODFW Marine biologist, (541) 826-8778
Fax: (541) 673-0372

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