Boston, MA - A seemingly ill seal was recently found lying on shore in Wareham. Individuals who fancied themselves 'Good Samaritans' wanted to provide the animal with blankets and food. Among the offerings, few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Wareham officials have since asked residents to refrain from feeding the seals such food, as they are following a migration pattern and are likely just tired.
The director of the town’s Department of Natural Resources, Garry Buckminster, came forward to say that he understands some of the residents may have seen the seal and felt bad for him or her, maybe even thought the seal was famished; nonetheless, feeding a seal peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is not a good idea Buckminster claimed.
Buckminster received a report Monday afternoon stating that a seal was found sick or injured on the shore of Swift’s Beach. As he approached the reported scene, Buckminster found a group of people with worried expressions on their faces; it seemed as if some of them wanted to grab blankets and wrap the seal in it, due to the cold weather; but they were unsure if that would help or harm him or her.
After assessing the seal, Buckminster stated that he or she was going to be okay; no visible injuries were present and the seal seemed to be in good overall health. It seemed as if the seal just wanted to rest in his or her long journey migrating south.
Onlookers should keep in mind that seals can become highly stressed when they aren’t given their space. For instance, when the group of people were surrounding the seal on Monday afternoon, he or she was very vocal towards the group, signaling that he or she wanted to be left alone. If you do come across a seal, the Wareham Department of Natural Resources encourages you to keep your distance and let the animals be; if something looks out-of-the-ordinary, report it to the department and they’ll handle the rest. A sign to look out for is if the seals start eating sand; this is a signal that they are stressed, but it’s also not good for their health to consume sand.
The department would also like to point out that the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches found near the seal can be harmful to their diets, too. Seals should be consuming small fish.
Buckminster wanted to point out that he understands the person who left the sandwiches had good intentions, but it’s just not a good food for seals to consume. He encourages people to not feed the seals any human food.
The seal found on Monday afternoon went back on his travels to the ocean Tuesday.