People have been doing some disturbing things with animals recently.
A group of tourists in Argentina made headlines for killing a rare dolphin while taking selfies with it, and in another incident, a family visiting Yellowstone National Park managed to kidnap a baby bison.
Now, it has come to the public’s attention that a Washington woman killed a baby harbor seal back in May by carrying it home with her in a plastic bag.
According to Metro, when the woman saw the seal pup at a beach near Westport she thought it had been abandoned, which prompted her decision to take it home.
“She then took it home and realized she really didn’t know what to do for it or how to take care of it,” Michael Milstein, from the US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, reportedly told ABC News.
Eventually, the woman called the local aquarium to come to the baby marine mammal’s rescue. By the time they got to the woman’s home; however, the seal was barely alive.
“Usually these animals will snap and struggle to get away if you try to approach them, but this pup was so lethargic,” the aquarium’s director Marc Myrsell said.
Myrsell compared the seal’s demeanor to that of a sleeping human baby. The aquarium officials and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife were hoping to return the animal to the beach, but it was “so unresponsive, and so much time had gone by” that they were left with no choice but to euthanize it.
"We're very passionate about marine mammals, so of course we all want to see them survive in the wild," said Kristin Wilkinson, a regional stranding coordinator for the NOAA's West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network. "We only resort to euthanization if the situation becomes so dire that it would be the most humane thing to do."
This ordeal has been brought to light as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently began using the tragic incident as an example of why it’s important not to pick up wildlife.
In a news release that essentially explains what should be common sense, the NOAA reminded locals and beachgoers how to respond to wild animals that they encounter.
"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 behavior and cause adult seals to abandon their pups.”
There is no telling what the woman thought she could do for a sea animal at her home on land.
She treated the situation as if she had found a stray dog or cat hanging around her neighborhood rather than a wild animal.
Although her intentions may have been genuine, her actions were completely lacking in logic.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @stephaniekays