BEWARE: They may appear cute, but do not get as well near as they may perhaps bite. They are using significantly-wanted relaxation. (Image Courtesy of Harvey Cedars Law enforcement Section)
Sightings of beached seals on Very long Beach Island are not unconventional this time of yr. And in Harvey Cedars, symptoms have been set up at many seaside entrances advising people what to do in circumstance they location a single.
The blue colored signal reads, in substantial letters at the best, “Give Seals Space.” Beneath, in scaled-down daring lettering, it advises men and women to “stay 150 feet absent.”
At the bottom of the sign, it reads, “Seals relaxation on our seashores. Continue to be again and give them house.” People today are encouraged to report any sightings of wounded, ill or useless seals by contacting the Maritime Mammal Stranding Centre in Brigantine at 609-266-0538.
Robert Schoelkopf, heart founder and director, stated many of these signs have been supplied no cost of charge to municipalities up and down the New Jersey coastline.
“If a town requests some, we’ll give them some,” he mentioned. “Our objective is to elevate awareness and educate the community on regular encounters of seals on the seaside.”
Schoelkopf reported toddler seals could show up along the Jersey Shore from December to Could. They ordinarily weigh all over 40 lbs ..
“Mother seals abandon their pups a number of months following their beginning,” he mentioned, “so they are coming down from New England.”
Schoelkopf reported the seals come ashore to relaxation.
“They’re swimming lengthy distances, and they’re looking for fish,” he said. “They’re likely to get quite drained, so when you see 1, it is in all probability having fun with some rest, just like a fatigued particular person.”
He reported individuals coming far too shut to a seal could “spook them out” and drive them again into the ocean.
“Plus, it’s really risky,” stated Schoelkopf. “People might believe they are cute and cuddly, but they’ll bite.”
So significantly this winter, there have been no seal sightings in Harvey Cedars. But Craig Coddington, a borough resident and stranding centre volunteer, recalled an incident previous March when a seal wound up resting on the driveway of an East 68th Street dwelling.
“The animal ought to have gotten misplaced and built it via the sand by way of several blocks, about the dunes and then on the street into the driveway,” he stated. “Hopefully, individuals will shell out focus to these signals if they see 1.” —E.E.