BOSTON — The federal government wants people seeking social distance to know they still have to stay away from seals they encounter at the beach.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday more people are spending time outdoors as the East Coast approaches the harbor seal pupping season. That increases the likelihood beachgoers will encounter the seals and their young.
NOAA said in a statement that it’s important anyone who encounters a seal respects “the social distance that is required by these sensitive animals.” That means staying 150 feet or more away from seals, the agency said.
NOAA added that seals often appear endangered when they are actually just exhibiting typical behavior. If a beachgoer suspects a seal is in danger, they should notify wildlife authorities, the agency said. Stranding responders can tend to the animal.