More people harassing seals and sea lions: report
Seals and sea lions along the Central and Northern California coast are getting harassed more often by people and their dogs, according to a new study from the Marine Mammal Center.
The center, based in Sausalito, released a report highlighting the increase in wildlife harassment, which has become a concerning issue for marine mammals in the region.
Last year alone, the center rescued over 150 marine mammals that were victims of harassment.
One distressing incident involved a harbor seal pup found on Bolinas Beach in Marin County.
Someone had picked up the defenseless pup and placed it on a surfboard, separating it from its mother.
Thankfully, the center was able to intervene and rescue the stranded pup.
The report revealed that dog attacks accounted for more than a quarter of all incidents of harassment on seals and sea lions.
It is crucial for dog owners to keep their pets on a leash when near coastal areas to prevent these unnecessary and harmful interactions.
The Marine Mammal Center is now urging the public to adhere to guidelines when encountering marine wildlife.
These guidelines include maintaining a safe distance, keeping dogs on a leash, and practicing responsible photography.
It is essential to respect the animals’ space and behavior.
If a marine mammal is spotted in distress, it is advised not to intervene directly but to promptly contact the Marine Mammal Center for assistance.
The increasing number of cases of harassment has raised concerns among conservationists and animal welfare advocates.
Efforts are being made to raise awareness about the importance of protecting these vulnerable marine creatures and ensuring their well-being along the California coast.
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