Taking selfies with seals really isn’t a good idea, wildlife officials warn

seal selfie warning pup
David Tyrer/123RF
Seal pups. Awww, they look so cute, don’t they. Their innocent little faces and big round eyes, makes you want scurry up and grab a quick selfie, doesn’t it? Well, guess what – it’s not a good idea.

With the proliferation of smartphones and people’s seemingly irresistible urge to grab selfies at every opportunity, it’s no surprise that in recent times we’ve been hearing stories of reckless wildlife adventurers sidling up beside all manner of creatures, from bears to snakes to sharks. And no, it doesn’t always end well.

In an apparent effort to preempt any disastrous run-ins with the New England seal population during the current pupping season, the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) recently posted a warning on its website titled, “No selfies with seals.”

The message insists that “there is no selfie stick long enough” for capturing such a shot, adding that no matter how tempting it might be “to get that perfect shot of yourself or your child with an adorable seal pup, please do the right thing and leave the seal pup alone.”

The scientific agency, knowing all too well that some selfie fanatics would love nothing more than a cute photo with a cuddly pup, says that “getting too close to a wild animal puts you – and the animal – at risk.”

Conjuring up images of blood, screams, and emergency response teams, NOAA warns that “seals have powerful jaws, and can leave a lasting impression.” In more ways than one.

The agency says it’s already received several reports of unfortunate incidents resulting in injuries as a result of humans “getting too close to an animal during a quick photo op,” adding, “When you get too close to a wild animal, you risk stressing or threatening it, and stressed animals are much more likely to act unpredictably.”

It warns that getting too close to a pup could cause its mother to abandon it, and advises people to stay at least 150 feet (46 meters) from any seal they see.

Of course, the absolute worst thing you could do would be to handle the animal while framing up that perfect selfie, but you already knew that … didn’t you?


These fraudulent Android apps were downloaded 8 million times

According to a new report from security research firm Trend Micro, a hefty 85 Android apps have been caught serving fraudulent ads that take over the user's screen -- and those apps have been downloaded 8 million times.

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what do you do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether via an email client or Windows 10.

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Emerging Tech

Europe’s free land could house enough wind turbines to power the world

Think wind turbines aren't a realistic means of powering the world? An international team of researchers have worked out that there is enough available land in Europe to do the job.

Nikon’s newest lens is the $800, portrait-savvy Nikkor Z 85mm F1.8

Nikon has pulled back the veil on its latest Z series lens, the Nikkor Z 85mm F1.8 prime lens. The lens uses optics designed for sharpness, autofocus designed for both photo and video, and a weather-sealed exterior.

Ona reimagines six favorite camera bags in new collection

Ona's new camera bags take inspiration from classic favorites and mix in new elements for the company's line of summer and fall releases. The new line of seven bags ranges from backpack to duffle bag, from full gear kits to a…

OnePlus 7 Pro vs. Pixel 3a vs. ZenFone 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy A50: Camera shootout

You don't need to spend a ton of money to get a good camera phone. We take a look at some of our favorite midrange phones, ranging from the $350 Samsung Galaxy A50 to the $669 OnePlus 7 Pro, to find the best camera in this category.

Here's how to shoot high dynamic range images using (almost) any camera

High dynamic range photography can help you capture more color and detail in your photos. Here's everything you need to know about creating HDR images from your DSLR, mirrorless camera, or smartphone.

Best Buy snaps $60 off the HP Sprocket so you can print pictures from your phone

Make instant memories with new-found friends with the HP Sprocket 2-in-1 Photo Printer. Order yours from Best Buy at the discounted price of $100 before school starts.

The best GoPro accessories for 2019, from dive housings to dog harnesses

A GoPro is only as good as the tools you use with it. With so many options on the market, finding the best GoPro accessories can be a hassle, but you'll find our favorites here, from dive housings to dog harnesses.

The best Photoshop alternatives for 2019, from Affinity Photo to GIMP

Hate the daunting interface of Photoshop, or don't like being forced into a subscription plan? Here are four Photoshop alternatives to consider, from a powerful free option to approachable programs that still tackle advanced edits.

Got a bunch of old receipts? This $89 camera turns them into instant photos

Some receipts can't be recycled, but they can be used as photo paper. The Alulu is an instant camera that uses thermal receipt paper instead of film. The camera's creators say the camera creates environmentally-friendly instant prints.

The best Adobe Lightroom alternatives for editing RAW photos in 2019

Looking for a strong app to organize and edit your RAW photos? From beautifully designed apps like Skylum Luminar to professional tools like CaptureOne, here are the best Adobe Lightroom alternatives for 2019.

How to take bokeh photos: The beginner's guide to better blur

To some photographers, bokeh is a sought-after aspect of a photograph; to others, it's a buzzword that just won't die. But there's no denying that, when used correctly, bokeh can help your photos and videos pop.