This seems to be happening more often in the last few years than any others in recent history, but over the weekend, a seal pup was seen right hanging out on the beach right near the water line at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire.

The picture was posted by Chris Egan to the u local New Hampshire group on Facebook, which obviously immediately scored some traction because all we're usually used to seeing wash up on the shores of our beaches in New England is seaweed, rocks, and periwinkles.

Chris Egan via Facebook

More often than not, the natural, first instinctual reaction is to try and help out, because other than seeing an adorable seal pup up close and personal, it comes across as the seal has been beached and needs help to get back into the ocean to continue living. And while seals DO get beached at times, usually that's not at all the case.

A couple of years ago, NEWS CENTER Maine ran this report citing tips on what to do if you see a seal on the shore according to Marine Mammals of Maine. The very FIRST thing to do, is STAY AWAY. It's actually illegal, according to the NEWS CENTER Maine article, to approach a seal within 150 feet, based on the Marine Mammal Protection Act. You also cannot feed or harass them.

The second thing to do, according to the National Marine Life Center, is if you're concerned that the seal is in distress obviously and not just lounging around living its best life in the sun for a break from the ocean, call your local animal control or police department. They'll have the number for your local stranding network who will assess the situation (and actually probably leave them be for a day to see if the seal will make their way back in the ocean.)

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