The world-renowned scientists at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have a very important message for those on the east coast of the United States this summer: Don’t take selfies with seals.
It’s currently seal pupping season in New England, so beaches across the northeastern states are likely to be littered with a fair few seal pups. But as unbearable cute as they might be, you shouldn’t approach them, no matter how tempting the Instagram likes may be. The NOAA says that you should try to give seals and their pups at least 45 meters (150 feet) of space. Not only could getting too close to seals give you a nasty bite and stress the animals out, but it also leaves the pups at risk of being abandoned by their parents.
In a recent online statement titled “No Selfies with Seals,” the NOAA said “It might only take a few seconds for you to snap the photo, but the mother may abandon her pup if she feels threatened. For the seal pup, the consequences can be devastating.”
In their words: "There is no selfie stick long enough."
Furthermore, under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, you could get yourself in trouble with the law if you are considered to be harassing or disturbing a wild marine animal.