Local Seals Give Birth

By Matt Baume
|  Tuesday, Mar 1, 2011  |  Updated 12:00 PM PDT
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Local Seals Give Birth

Here comes something super-cute -- and also vulnerable to human harm.

This is the time of year when harbor seals give birth, so you may see helpless-looking fuzzy grey beasts wiggling around on some local beaches.

Keep away, say biologists. The presence of people can spook a seal's mother, leading her to abandon her pup. For the safety of the wildlife, keep your distance, and keep dogs at bay. Seals generally don't fight humans or dogs, but a startled parent may respond unpredictably.

The animals may look abandoned, but usually the mother is foraging for food nearby. So even if it looks like it's in need of help, it's best to summon experts by calling 415-289-SEAL, rather than intervening yourself.

Bothering marine mammals can bring hefty fines, since seals are a federally protected species, according to SF Appeal.

The seals aren't the only risky situation around the waterfront right now. A visitor to Land's End spent the night at the bottom of a cliff after tumbling over the edge. Lacking a cellphone, he had to call to nearby hikers for help. Crews couldn't reach him until morning.

The rescuers suggested that the man might have been drinking when he fell, breaking his ankle. He also suffered from hypothermia due to the length of his exposure to the elements.

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