From Brigantine’s Marine Mammal Stranding Center: Leave The Seals Alone
We've reached that time of year when it's not uncommon to spot a few seals along New Jersey's beaches. Thanks to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, South Jersey residents have access to information that explains what to do if you spot one on one of your holiday beach strolls.
Before we get to that, there are a few things you should know. First, don't be alarmed if you see one. Just because the seal is on the beach doesn't mean something's wrong or that it's in some sort of danger. As a matter of fact, according to conservewildlifenj.org, you're more likely to find seals on the NJ coast from now through April than the rest of the year. Those folks say that even though seals can look cute and cuddly, their bite is worse than a dog's. Be careful.
The same sentiment is expressed by Marine Mammal Stranding Center in one of their recent Facebook posts. They're reminding South Jersey residents to keep an appropriate distance of at least 150 feet away. MMSC even takes a step further and says that if you're not sure you've kept enough space between you and the animal, hold up your thumb, Heads Up Seven Up style (remember that game?), and if you're thumb doesn't completely cover up the seal in your line of vision, then you're too close.
Not to mention, it's against the law to stroll right up to a seal and try to touch it, anyway. Ten out of ten would NOT recommend.
Check out the Marine Mammal Stranding Center's pro-tips, should you come across a seal on the beach below: