Another recent case in Oregon suggests people may be overcaring for seemingly orphaned seals. When a couple found a seal pup on a beach in Garibaldi, they didn't see the mother around and figured the baby was orphaned.
The couple draped the seal in a towel, brought her home and tried to keep her alive in the shower. Although wildlife officials brought the seal back to the beach the next day, she was later found dead.
The sad irony here is that the baby seal was likely just left on the beach while her mother scavenged for food.
"That results in a big challenge we see every year with little baby pups left on the beach perfectly OK, perfectly healthy - until people come along," Zagzebski said.