Those in Duck this weekend may have seen a harbor seal on the beach. In the winter we see more seals come onto land (haul out) on our beaches. They are just like us when they swim they get tired and come ashore to rest. They may stay on the beach for up to 3 days. They need their rest and should not be disturbed. Seals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. It is against the law to touch, feed, or otherwise harass seals. Harassment occurs if YOUR behavior alters THEIR behavior. Please do not approach seals (keep 150 feet or more between you and the seals) and keep any pets away from stranded marine life. While cute looking, they have a serious bite which can cause “seal finger”. This condition causes black fingers and can be treated with only two antibiotics.
If you see a seal on the beach please report it to the Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 252.455.9654 or the sea turtle hotline at 252.441.8622.
For more information, please click here to visit the OBX Marine Mammal Stranding Network website.
Thank you to Duck resident and volunteer, Jackie Orsulak for sharing the sighting and useful information and to Jane Kepler of the OBX Marine Mammal Stranding Network for providing additional information.