Stranded Marine Mammals
It is inappropriate to approach any marine mammal closer than 100 yards. Feeding marine mammals is illegal and can affect their ability to survive in their natural habitat. (Marine Mammal Protection Act)
If you see a marine mammal you are concerned about, DO NOT approach, touch or feed the animal! These are wild animals and can be very dangerous even when injured. Help to keep all people and domestic animals away. Remember, any viewing must be at least 100 yards away from a marine mammal.
Seals leave their young for periods of time while they forage for food. If an animal is alone, it does NOT mean it is abandoned. A healthy pup, which may appear distressed and is crying out, may have a mother nearby! Once a pup is moved, there is little chance its mother can find it again.
When in doubt, observe the animal for at least 12 hours. Most seals that enter rehab are pups that are abandoned, thin, and malnourished.
Sea lion pups are usually born on off-shore rookeries. Mothers will leave pups alone while foraging for many days at a time.
Sea otters are very dependent on their mothers for survival. Mothers leave pups for brief periods to dive and forage. Once removed from the wild or the care of the mother, sea otter pups usually cannot be released back to the wild.
Pups should be observed for at least two hours. DO NOT approach or handle the pup! It is natural for a young sea otter pup to vocalize if its mother is nearby.
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