Hundreds of seals rest on the dunes and raise their young in a protected colony on the river’s northern bank.
Visitors are urged to go and observe the captivating marine mammals from the security of the south beach, despite the fact that they are not allowed on the northern side.
If you go too close to the colony, they can panic, which could put their young pups in danger.
However, the seals do occasionally wander out into the open ocean. On Tuesday at about 12.40 p.m., a dog began howling and chasing about a juvenile seal that had come onto the beach, nibbling at its tail.
The seal was able to flee into the ocean after a bystander intervened, although it is thought that one of its eyes was hurt.
For the protection of both the seals and visitors’ four-legged friends, Lee Watson, the group’s organizer, said the event was a good reminder of how crucial it is to keep pets on leashes in the region.
We anticipate seeing a couple of them on the Newburgh side at this time of year, he said.
The younger seals occasionally emerge from the ocean on the south side of the beach, where it is quieter and less crowded.
“We would encourage you to keep your dog on a lead when you’re close to the haul-out just for general safety.
“Many dog walkers frequent the beach, and there are rarely any issues, but it’s preferable for the dogs and seals to do so.
Dogs can be matched by seals bite for bite. Because they need robust jaws and pointed teeth to catch swimming fish, they can be as strong as a Rottweiler.
Can seals harm canines?
Even though seals are not normally considered to be a local animal to the area, they have probably been coming here for a lot longer than we realize. Six years ago, the Maryland Coastal Bays Organization collaborated with the animal rescue program to write an application in order to secure funds for a project that would educate the public about seals and their typical behaviors.
Through these public communication initiatives, we discovered that while some inhabitants had had close encounters with seals, the majority of locals were unaware that seals were migratory visitors.
One was surfing in the water, and the other was duck hunting in the bay. Both occurrences took place in the 1970s.
In our estuary, seal sightings have increased since 2011. Actually, there isn’t much scientific evidence to support this. However, scientific evidence suggests that upsetting a sleeping seal can lead to unneeded stress, and a close meeting between a dog and a human can be unpleasant for everyone concerned.
The presence and appearance of seals are pleasant, even cute. One can’t help but want to approach them, perhaps even touch or feed them, just like the Assateague horses.
However, these interactions with others are more harmful than beneficial. The same size as our beloved Assateague horses, seals are wild animals that can be very hazardous. They will bite, and you or your pet could contract serious diseases as a result.
A dog being attacked by a marine lion
Is a misbehaving sea lion really devouring people’s pets, murdering dogs while they play in the Sandy River, or even attacking and killing them?
According to a variety of government representatives, informed residents, and other regional specialists, it’s plausible but not likely.
An Oregon park manager named Clay Courtright claimed, “I’ve heard of literally no occurrences in respect to this, no concerns at all.”
“I don’t want people to believe we have that confirmed. We haven’t been able to because “said U.S. Forest Service Rachel Pawlitz.
A spokesman for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Chad Gaidos, stated, “We have not received any complaints regarding any attacks. “We usually hear about it if it occurs and there is worry.”
The “urban” legend, which varies in its specifics, goes like follows: Dog walkers frequently let their dogs run free along the water at the Sandy River Delta Park to the east of Troutdale. The natural area, also referred to as 1,000 Acres, is located where the Sandy River empties into the Columbia River.
When the dog jumps in, a sea lion either attacks or kills it. Dates and names are omitted from the story’s delivery.
On Friday, March 10, a prominent mention of the rumor occurred in the Facebook forum “WHAT JUST TOOK PLACE? LOCATED IN GRESHAM, “an online community with more than 17,000 members where all kinds of rumors and responses to local events can be found.
However, Melissa White’s posting was really a screenshot of a comment made in the German shepherd owners’ private Facebook group PNW GSD Pack.
“If you intend to go to the 1,000-acre park this rainy season. Water should be avoided. In the past two weeks, seal lions have already murdered three dogs “Writing on March 9, Austin Fry.
Yes, he said later, “I was chatting to someone about this and I assume they think they’re sturgeon or other bigger prey and use their flippers to smack them and knock them out/kill them… so awful.
Astoria, at the entrance of the Columbia River, about 100 miles downstream from the Sandy, is where sea lions move upriver from their coastal habitat.
The 146-mile trek that sea lions take to get from the Pacific Ocean to Bonneville Dam is well-known.
The hungry creatures that swarm at the dam, where fish are most susceptible, have baffled government organizations working to conserve endangered salmon and steelhead species on the Columbia River for years.
Around 14 miles upstream from the Columbia, Jack Glass, a licensed fishing guide with 50 years of experience on the Sandy, has seen sea lions from Dabney State Recreation Area to the boat ramps at Oxbow Park.
Glass remarked, “I haven’t seen sea lions like I have in the last two years. “We had one Steller and one California (sea lion) who came in every day, and there are others that wander around.”
After learning of “encounters” with sea lions at the park, Friends of the Sandy River Delta put up a notice there cautioning dog owners to be aware of the animals.
Friends Chairman Jeff Schuh noted in an email, “I’ve asked if anyone has any knowledge, knew the person, or witnessed the occurrence, and no one has responded with anything other than additional sightings. All of this leads me to believe that the attack might have been somewhat fictional.
Near least one incident of a dog being hurt by barbed wire at the park has been reported to the U.S. Forest Service, and Oregon State Parks and Recreation reports that it frequently receives calls anytime a big tree limb falls at its boat launches.
Most government officials believe this habit makes it likely that a violent interaction between a sea lion and a domestic pet wouldn’t go unnoticed.
As a dog owner myself, Courtright, who oversees the neighboring Lewis and Clark State Recreation Site, said, “If something assaults my dog, I’m going to look at the U.S. Forest Service shield and call and let them know.”
U.S. Forest Service spokesman Rachel Pawlitz emphasized that the Delta was initially bought for its historical and ecological importance rather than as a dog run.
She said, “(Rumors) should be taken with a grain of salt.” “However, maybe it’s not a bad idea for folks to harness their dogs when they approach the water.”
Do seals harm people?
All creatures with teeth, beaks, or pincers have the ability to bite humans and other animals when threatened or provoked, and seals are no exception. The majority of seals are not known to be violent. Human attacks by seals are uncommon, but they have happened before. Particularly in their natural habitat, seals are frequently shy and would not suddenly launch an attack. However, they have the ability to bite in self-defense if they feel attacked or provoked.
Seals have a charming and amiable appearance, which they do have. The majority of zoos and marine attractions present seals as tamable, perceptive, and amiable to people. They may be trained to put on performances and entertain people. However, seals in the wild might not be as sociable as the seals we are accustomed to seeing in aquariums and zoos. Human interaction with seals in the wild usually has a negative net effect.
Seals can become disturbed from human attention and feel uneasy or threatened because they are still regarded as wild animals. These marine creatures may strike out and bite to warn you to back off if they feel threatened. Since seals are not aggressive, they usually bite as a threat or warning rather than with the intention of harming or injuring you. Although they can spread infections, seal bites are neither fatal nor particularly dangerous.
Do dogs believe seals to be canines?
The best lads on Earth may have marine counterparts, according to several memes and videos that have surfaced in recent years. Land dogs and water dogs, or seals, don’t just appear alike with their expressive grins and amiable personalities; a wildlife expert tells Inverse that they’re actually somewhat related evolutionary-speaking.
Let’s examine the plainly visible proof. Dogs are excellent. Seals are also. Given how similar they are to one another, many people seem to think they are the same thing.
Another convincing piece of taxonomically convincing evidence that the two have some form of similar ground is this 2015 video of a seal haphazardly befriending a dog on the beach. Look at the pup’s contented expression and the soothing flap of the seal that is lying on its fur. Just too joyful and sincere to be strangers.
Technically speaking, the vast majority of curious people who believe seals are water pups aren’t altogether mistaken. Furthermore, they are not at all accurate.
As a member of the order Carnivora, dogs and seals belong to the same suborder, Caniforma, according to Imogene Cancellare, a wildlife biologist at the University of Delaware.
However, dogs and seals are not related and do not belong to the same family. Pinnipedia, the family that includes seals, diverged from other caniforms about 50 million years ago.
Further examination reveals some quite blatant phenotypic differences between seals and dogs. Dogs move about on their four legs, for starters. Due to the lack of legs, seals move by using what I can only describe as “On their bellies, they go boing boing.
“Dogs and seals both have skulls that resemble those of dogs, according to Cancellare.
Although there isn’t much you can do with this knowledge, we hope it made you smile. You never know when you might need it on Trivial Pursuit. This is fantastic news for your parents. In any event, we hope that learning that seals and dogs are somewhat related has made you a happier and healthier person.
How should you react if a seal approaches?
The largest land breeding mammal in the UK, seals are particularly threatening when they are in the water. Allow seals to approach you and always give them the initiative. Remain relaxed while silently observing. To avoid frightening the seals and evoking an aggressive reaction, try to remain calm and advance gently.
How near should you approach a seal?
To ensure that you are watching and interacting with animals safely and respectfully, familiarize yourself with the viewing distances and rules for marine life.
The Endangered Species Act safeguards many of the most often observed species in the coastal waters of the United States. The Marine Mammal Protection Act also includes provisions for the protection of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions. These regulations aid in preventing injury to marine mammals and sea turtles, such as when people interfere with their normal behaviors.
Learn the rules and restrictions for viewing these marine protected species in their natural habitats before spending time on or near the water. Regional, statewide, and species-specific viewing regulations and restrictions exist. Before you explore our coastal waters, kindly familiarize yourself with the relevant regulations (see the More Information box).
General Viewing Guidelines
**Never attempt to feed or give food to any sea mammals. Both hazardous and forbidden.
*In the wild, never swim with, ride, pet, touch, or make any other effort at interaction with marine mammals or sea turtles.
Unless there are exceptions, keep at least 100 yards (a football field’s length) away. In accordance with federal law, boats must keep a distance of 100 yards from humpback whales in the waters of Hawaii and Alaska, 200 yards from killer whales in the inland waters of Washington State, and 500 yards from North Atlantic right whales in all U.S. waters.
Keep at least 50 yards—roughly half a football field—away from turtles in the sea or breeding on beaches. Pets and people are included in this.
It is advised to keep at least 10 feet (3 meters) away from sea turtles in Hawai’i, both on land and in the water.
Guidelines When Viewing At Sea
All boats, jet skis, paddleboards, kayaks, and other watercraft should maintain proper distances from marine mammals and sea turtles while adhering to legal speed limitations when viewing wildlife at sea. Although there are some general rules here, different species have their own rules (see section on species-specific laws below).
When Viewing Marine Mammals By Watercraft
Keep a distance of 50 yards or more from dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and sea turtles, as well as at least 100 yards from large whales. In accordance with federal law, vessels must keep a distance of 100 yards from humpback whales in the waters of Hawaii and Alaska, 200 yards from killer whales in the inland waters of Washington State, and 500 yards from North Atlantic right whales in all U.S. waters.
Spend no more than 30 minutes studying animals individually or in groups.
No boat should be used to pursue, encircle, or leapfrog over animals. Animals should not be trapped between boats and the shore.
Avoid getting too close to marine mammals when another boat is nearby. Marine mammals are more prone to be disturbed by many vessels.
Avoid going too fast or making abrupt changes in direction or speed when you’re close to whales, dolphins, or porpoises.
Operate at no-wake speed and slow down while passing marine mammals. When whales approach, put your engine in neutral and proceed.
When there are calves present, stay away from whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Never position your boat in the way of a mother and calf.
Be cautious of breaching and flipper-slapping whales that could cause harm to people or boats.
Avoid the humpback whales’ light-green bubble patches. Before whales surface to feed at the surface, these are subsurface bubbles.
Never follow or chase after marine wildlife
Whenever a vessel moves, it should do so at the recommended distance and obliquely toward or away from the animal’s back. Move behind sea animals if you need to avoid it. Never come at them directly.
Never purposefully steer or speed your boat toward a marine creature with the goal of creating a pressure wake that will allow them to bow or wake-ride.
When Viewing Sea Turtles By Watercraft
Slow down and go at no-wake speed when you are watching a sea turtle. If a sea turtle is seen, turn the engines to neutral. Move softly away and let it go.
Guidelines When Viewing From Air
Keep manned aircraft at a minimum height of 1,000 feet for watching marine creatures (e.g., helicopters, airplanes). In accordance with federal law, aircraft must fly at least 1,500 feet above North Atlantic right whales in all U.S. waters and no closer than 1,000 feet above humpback whales in Hawaii.
Avoid flying over or near marine mammals when landing, taking off, taxiing, or buzzing. These actions are probably going to stress and harass the animals.
Avoid using unmanned aircraft systems (UAVs) or drones near animals. Drones can scare animals out and disturb them with their noise and close proximity.
A word about drone/UAS navigation:
It’s crucial to keep in mind that the Federal Aviation Administration establishes regulations for drone use. Additionally, the U.S. National Park Service has made it illegal to deploy drones in many of the country’s national parks, including those that have marine animals.
Only those researchers who have obtained the necessary authorizations and permits may use drones or UAS to conduct scientific research on species that are protected. Find out more about permissions for study.
Guidelines When Viewing From Land
Keep at least 50 yards—roughly half a football field—away from sea turtles that are resting or laying their eggs on beaches. Pets and people are included in this.
Share the beach! People and animals should keep at least 50 yards—or the length of a football field—away from seals and sea lions that are on the shore. At the first sign of unrest or excitement, kindly leave the area.
A mother seal is allowed to leave her tiny pup on the sand by himself for up to 24 hours while she feeds. The mother may not be visible offshore, but if she sees you close to her pup, she might decide it’s not safe to return and may even abandon the baby.
Give moms and puppies some room. Keep your distance if you see a pup seal. Keep at least 50 yards (150 feet) away from seals as a general rule. A young seal who is curious may approach on its own, but the mother is probably nearby and may see your presence as a threat.
No seal selfies please! Please do the right thing and leave the seal pup alone, no matter how alluring it may be to capture yourself or your child in the picture with an attractive seal pup. You and the animal are at risk if you approach a wild animal too closely.
Feeding or attempting to feed wild seals and sea lions is prohibited. Seals may leave a lasting impression thanks to their strong jaws. When you approach a wild animal too closely, you run the danger of stressing or threatening it, and threatened or disturbed animals are much more prone to behave erratically.
Killer Whales in Puget Sound, Washington
Killer whales should not be leapfrogged by boats or other watercraft. Anywhere within 400 yards of whales, they must avoid getting in their way.