Beware: Rescuing wild animals can actually cause them harm!
Because of increasing reports of these 'rescues', the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been compelled to put out an advisory this week warning people against interfering with the local wildlife.
New Delhi: It feels good to hear reports of people trying to help animals, rather than use them as a means of entertainment or trying to harm them in any way.
However, those who do try to help them, also sometimes, unintentionally of course, end up harming them in some way.
Latest reports to do the rounds tell the story of two separate incidents, where people tried to help and/or nurse helpless seal pups, that they found on the beach.
In the first case, a woman from Westport, Washington, picked up a harbour seal pup from a beach. Believing it to be abandoned, she didn't think twice before putting it in a recyclable grocery bag and whisking it away.
Once she took it home, she didn't know what to do with it or how to take care of it and thought better to call the local aquarium.
Once the aquarium officials arrived, the seal was so lethargic that it had become unresponsive and euthanized for being out for so long.
The other incident took place in Oregon, wherein, a couple came across a seal pup on the beach. Once again, mistaking it as being abandoned, they took it home and promptly put it in the shower.
Although, officials returned the pup to its natural habitat, it was found dead a day later.
Because of increasing reports of these 'rescues', the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been compelled to put out an advisory this week warning people against interfering with the local wildlife. Animals are best left in their natural habitat.
As per Gizmodo, the agency said that, “The best thing people can do to help marine mammals on the beach is to leave them alone, staying 100 yards away, if possible. Disturbing, feeding or attempting to move young seals or other marine mammals is illegal because it can stress the animals, interfere with their natural behaviour and cause adult seals to abandon their pups.”
This is not an isolated incident where human interference has resulted in the death of an animal. The National Park Service, as reported by Gizmodo, recalled an incident in May, when a bison calf at Yellowstone National Park was euthanised after tourists put it in the back of their SUV. It was subsequently abandoned by its herd and began “causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway”.