Common sense, you might think: Baby seals are not pets. Humans make very poor seal mothers. And their real mothers are rarely far behind.
But sadly, in recent months, there have been there have been at least five reported cases of humans finding seal pups - and trying to take them home.
"If there's one message I'm getting out, it's if you see a seal on the beach, let him be," Kathy Zagzebski, executive director of the National Marine Life Center, told The Dodo in May when baby seal season was just ramping up. "Often mom is coming back. And call the seal rescue group in your area so we can check it out."
And yet selfishness seems to spring eternal.
In May, a woman took a harbor seal from a beach in Westport, Washington. She reportedly put the baby seal in a shopping bag, but the animal was unresponsive once she got him home. Wildlife officials were forced to euthanize the seal.