The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is advising that people stop taking selfies with seals, or “sealfies” (ouch). “Getting too close to a wild animal puts you — and the animal — at risk. Seals have powerful jaws, and can leave a lasting impression,” NOAA explains on its website.
If you do spot a seal, NOAA recommends staying about 150 feet away. Which is a lot farther than most of the people did whose sealfies we found on Twitter.
In case getting bitten was’t enough to turn you off from taking said selfies, NOAA also explains that seal mothers will often leave their pups alone for extended periods while they hunt. If a mother sees a human interacting with a pup, she may abandon it. And is there anything sadder than the thought of a tiny, abandoned seal? (Yes, this dolphin in Argentina who died after tourists picked it up and took selfies with it.) Stop taking animal selfies, people.