Please don't hassle seals this season

This year, several seal pups have already been seen on the coast of Latvia, Elīna Ezeriņa, a representative of the Nature Protection Board (DAP), told Latvian Radio in an interview, calling on residents not to harass the juvenile marine mammals.

So far DAP has received calls about four seals seen on the coast near Tūja, Dunta and Jūrmala.

Each year, the places where seals arrive on the coast change. One year, many baby seals were seen on Ventspils beach, other years they were concentrated around Jūrmala or the northern Vidzeme beaches.

The representative of the Nature Protection Board reminded the public that the arrival of baby seals on the shore is normal. They rest and warm up. Therefore, they should not be driven back into the water as if they were beached whales.

"You should keep your distance, don't cause unnecessary stress. And definitely don't touch them or move them yourself," Ezeriņa said.

She also pointed out that seals have sharp teeth that they might use if they feel they are being attacked. It is also good practice to keep a dog on a leash during walks on sections of shore with seals. Data show that dog bites are the most common injuries to seal pups.

"You have to protect both the seals and your dogs," added Ezeriņa.

Official advice is to stay at least 50 meters away from seals. The DAP only needs to be informed about the presence of a seal if it appears to be injured or in distress (contact details on info below).

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