April 26, 2011
GOLD BEACH, Ore. – Spring is Pacific harbor seal pupping season on the Oregon coast. Visitors should stay away from seals and sea lions resting on rocks or beaches.
“Harbor seals are having their pups now, and often the mother will leave her pup for a short time on shoreline rocks or the beach while she heads out to sea to feed,” said ODFW Marine Biologist Susan Reimer. “It’s best for the pup to leave it alone – human activity around it can discourage the female from returning to feed and care for her pup.”
Other marine mammals can also be seen this time of year. California sea lions are migrating south to breed for the summer, stopping to rest on Oregon beaches. Elephant seals are in the molting stage right now and though they may look sick, molting is a natural process.
Seals and California sea lions use beaches as a resting spot when feeling tired or ill and should be left alone. People should not approach them, or try to feed or help them. It’s important to keep dogs away as well.
If you see a marine animal that is obviously injured or very sick, do not approach or disturb it but call the OSU Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at 541-270-6830.