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Maintain a safe distance from the animal.
By-standers and pets should stay at least 50 feet away from stranded marine mammals. Marine mammals are wild animals – close approach and excessive noise can cause great stress. Stranded animals may have infectious diseases that could be passed to you or your pet. Make sure pets are under control and kept away from the stranded animal.
DO NOT touch, pick up, or feed the animal. Even small seals have sharp teeth with which they can bite people.
DO NOT try to return the animal to the water. Pups of some species are not good swimmers and thus could drown if put in the water.
Observe the animal’s behaviour from a distance.
It is natural for seals to come ashore to rest for extended periods of time. If the seal is injured or if its behavior seems abnormal contact the hotline. Healthy seals are usually fairly plump (except young pups). Some healthy seals will also bark, growl or hiss if approached. Seals resting on the beach may or may not move around much but may often lift their heads of tails to look around and adjust their position. Remember that sometimes the mother has left her pup alone so she can feed. She will return and feed the pup until it is weaned.
Photographs are invaluable. If at all possible, please photograph the animal from all visible angles and of all wounds or injuries.
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