Featured Image Credit: Andreas Trepte via Wikimedia
By Emily Persico
In a beautiful display of teamwork, the U.S. Coast Guard and Brigantine Marine Mammal Stranding Center responded to a report of a lone seal pup on New Jersey beaches. The call came from a member of the public who, upon seeing the seal, was both worried and caring, staying the recommended 50 yards away while phoning in the incident.
Reports like these are becoming increasingly common recently. Over the last weekend, the Brigantine Marine Mammal Stranding Center responded to seven such calls. Like the pup reported to the U.S. Coast Guard, most of these seals turn out to be totally healthy, requiring intervention only to get them away from harassing beach goers or busy areas.
Seal pups leave their mothers after just 10 days of nursing. Oftentimes, these healthy loners are riding a birthing tide from Maine or Massachusetts south, to warmer waters and plentiful food.
If you’re not sure if a seal pup is okay to be alone, call the U.S. coast guard or other marine mammal authorities in the area.
“One of the Coast Guard’s primary missions is stewardship of the marine environment,” says Officer Seth Johnson. “Anytime we can help stranded animals, we help where we can.”