SWAMPSCOTT, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — No matter how cute it is, or how badly you want to pet it, Swampscott officials have issued a reminder that approaching wild seals is a big no go.
According to Swampscott Police, Animal Control officials sealed off an area on Phillip's Beach with caution tape on Tuesday, asking the public to respect those boundaries to keep the wild animal safe.
Officials say even a baby seal such as this could cause significant injuries while defending itself from an off-leash dog or confrontation.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cites the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act as laws that protect wild marine life from harassing or feeding the animals. The rules do not prohibit people from viewing the wildlife from afar, as NOAA recommends any potential seal spotter check with their local coastal law beforehand.
Specifically for seals, onlookers and pets are to stay at least 50 yards away, about half the length of a football field.