Abandoned seal pup rescue waylaid by 1972 law

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Abandoned Seal Pup Rescue Waylaid by 1972 Law


"He's getting weak. He's getting tired. He doesn't have the energy," Andrea Hahn told KGTV about a seal pup.

That's a seal pup that was found all alone at the Children's Pool Beach in La Jolla, California. A volunteer at the seal conservatory says the pup's mother abandoned it.

"The number of abandonments, neonate mortalities has doubled since the last year. And a lot of it has to do with things that we think are happening at night," Hahn said.

The part of the beach where the seals gather is closed off to the public, but KGTV reports people have been ignoring the rule and going into the area anyway. And this scares off the seals.

Seal pups rely on their mothers for food at first. Being pretty innate learners when it comes to swimming, seal pups can take anywhere from three to six weeks to learn how to hunt for their own food.

SeaWorld, which is known for rescuing abandoned sea mammals, can't do anything in this instance.

The U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 prevents anyone from taking marine mammals, including whales, manatees, seals and dolphins, from U.S. waters without a permit.

SeaWorld would have to obtain a special permit from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to rescue the abandoned seal pup.

There's been no word yet if SeaWorld is trying to obtain that permit. KGTV did report SeaWorld sent a crew to La Jolla to monitor the pup Wednesday.

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