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Animal rescuers ask residents to leave young seals alone

July 9, 2021 GMT

BATH, Maine (AP) — A marine mammal rescue group in Maine is asking beachgoers to leave young seals alone after documenting numerous recent interactions between people and the animals.

Marine Mammals of Maine is a nonprofit group that responds to distressed sea mammals, such as seals and dolphins, as well as sea turtles. The group said one seal was subjected to repeated harassment over several days in June.

Marine Mammals of Maine said harbor seal pups are still small at this time of the year, but they are also fully independent. Many beachgoers think the animals are in trouble when they are in fact behaving normally.

The group said people should stay at least 150 feet away from seals at all times. It said people who think they have encountered an injured or threatened seal can report it by calling 800-532-9551.