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Story - News

Apr 1, 2015 10:04 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: NOAA Says No Action Expected Against Beachgoer Bitten By Seal In Sagaponack

Apr 1, 2015 4:27 PM

UPDATE: 2:45 p.m.

According to Allyson Rogers, communications specialist for the Office of Law Enforcement for NOAA Fisheries, her federal agency will not at this time be pursuing any further enforcement action against the person bitten by the seal—who has still not been identified by officials.

Original Story:

They may look cute and cuddly, but seals—this one hauled out on a Southampton Village beach last week—are not living stuffed animals. On Sunday afternoon, a beachgoer in Sagaponack found that out the hard way.

According to the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation’s Facebook page, the beachgoer reported being bitten by a seal in Sagaponack, an incident reported to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and local law enforcement officials. Further information about the bite was not immediately available; however, a team from the Riverhead Foundation assessed the animal and determined that it was alert, in good condition and moving well, and it was left for monitoring.

The Riverhead Foundation notes that seals are federally protected—you must stay at least 150 feet away, by law. “When you come into contact with these wild animals you are changing their natural behavior, and that is a form of harassment. These laws are in place to keep you and the animal safe,” the foundation’s Facebook page says.

If you see an animal in distress, call the foundation’s 24-hour hotline, (631) 369-9829.

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Did the person get fined for coming in within 150 feet front the seal?
By 27East Realty (18), HAMPTON BAYS on Apr 1, 15 11:19 AM
The update says no, but what is the value of a law if an authority iss unwilling to enforce it?
By Frank Wheeler (1811), Northampton on Apr 1, 15 3:39 PM
I'm sure the bite was punishment enough.
By johnj (985), Westhampton on Apr 1, 15 4:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
Who are you to decide that?

If it's a law "on the books," then the charges should be preferred and someone at the next level, and ADA or a member of the judiciary, should make that call.
By Frank Wheeler (1811), Northampton on Apr 1, 15 11:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
So laws "on the books" are all to be enforced regardless of the situation. With that logic, if something isn't barred by a law " on the books" such as intercourse with a sheep, it is all good? The world isn't black and white Mr. Wheeler.
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Apr 2, 15 1:38 AM
You seem to be missing the point here -- a communications specialist for the Office of Law Enforcement for NOAA Fisheries announces that her agency isn't going to pursue charges against the offender, Then they are acting as either the prosecuting attorney or the judiciary, and I think either of those are beyond their pay grade.

This matter also gets into the issue of selective enforcement, and if that;s the case, then take the law off the books.
By Frank Wheeler (1811), Northampton on Apr 2, 15 9:43 AM
1 member liked this comment
Totally off topic, but this is the same circumstance we have in Sag Harbor Village where property owners are required to clear the sidewalks of snow in front of their properties. The village only enforces the law selectively, thereby giving themselves far more discretion than they are allowed...
By Arnold Timer (321), Sag Harbor on Apr 2, 15 4:46 PM
It's ok if there are drinks and dinner first. After all, we are civilized!
By CaptainSig (708), Dutch Harbor on Apr 3, 15 7:03 AM
They chose not to press charges. Just like any other American citizen has the right to make such a choice...
By Mr. Z (11364), North Sea on Apr 5, 15 10:07 AM
They are wild animals. Common sense is not so common.
By dnice (2345), Hampton Bays on Apr 1, 15 2:02 PM
Good idea is not to pet their teeth.
By harbor (400), East Hampton on Apr 1, 15 2:30 PM
I was going to write something but your comment - about the teeth says it all - I can't stop laughing and it's right on the money ..
By harrisw (27), sh on Apr 7, 15 7:52 PM
Stupid is as stupid does
By itsamazing (222), Southampton on Apr 1, 15 3:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
Idiot !
By AndersEn (169), Southampton on Apr 1, 15 11:10 PM
PLAY STUPID GAMES , WIN STUPID PRIZES!!!!!!! Throw the book at the idiot.
By bigfresh (4364), north sea on Apr 2, 15 7:34 AM
You no longer have wild animals on LI just pets.

Remember to spay and neuter your pets.
By Baymen87 (128), Lugoff, SC on Apr 2, 15 9:07 AM
Does this include deer?
By Arnold Timer (321), Sag Harbor on Apr 2, 15 4:48 PM
the seal was diagnosed w/ ptsd, placed on medicaid and given an obamaphone iphone 4s and free housing for the rest of it's life.
By politcal pawn (118), Flanders on Apr 8, 15 7:08 PM