A large number of seals have taken over some of the beaches at the Point Reyes National Seashore in California. The large animals may appear to be cute and friendly, but according to park rangers, they are still large animals that can turn aggressive when they feel threatened or challenged.
The Point Reyes National Seashore posted a picture of a beach covered with the seals on Facebook. In the image, many of the seals can be seen laying in a large group on the beach and appear to be relatively calm and peaceful.
“Did you know that elephant seals are protected by law,” 포스트 상태. “The Marine Mammal Protection Act, 설립 1972, prohibits the harm and harassment of all marine mammals. Harassment is anything that may injure an animal or disrupt it from any natural behaviors. Actions that may disturb an elephant seal are making loud noises, approaching or standing close to them, touching them, trying to elicit a reaction, feeding them, or otherwise interacting with them.”
The post concludes, “We recommend staying at least 25 ft (or two car lengths) from elephant seals that you come across outside of closed areas. The breeding colonies are closed to visitor access, so please do not go into closed areas for your safety and the safety of the seals.”
The winter breeding season is still underway, so a final total of how many seals have shown up on the beach has yet to be determined.
Officials are expecting a new record to be set this year, SF Gate reports. So many seals have arrived that they’ve started to spread to other areas.
Seals have been spotted near visitor centers and evidence of the animals can be seen in the parking lots.
Since it is breeding season, the seals can become aggressive. Elephant seals can weigh up to 5,000 파운드, so it’s probably not a good idea to get into a fight with one.