Seal Pup Season Starts 2 Months Early

This year in Massachusetts, we've seen flowers bloom early and black bears out and about early. Now, add harbor seal pups to that "early" list.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said today they "are noting unusually high numbers of seal pups for this time of year." Harbor seals typically give birth in May and June along the Northeast coast, NOAA says, but this year, pup sightings were reported in March.

Mendy Garron, NOAA's regional marine mammal stranding coordinator, said "it is not clear why the pupping season began so early this year."

With the unusually high number of seals on rocky ledges and sandy beaches for this time of the year, Garron urged the public to stay away from the animals.

“Even though they look cute," she said, "these are wild animals and getting too close puts the animal, humans and pets at risk.”

This program aired on April 24, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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Benjamin Swasey Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital news manager.



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