Published July 24, 2013
A Massachusetts couple who tried to help an injured baby seal at an area beach may face a $5,000 fine for rushing to the aid of the stranded mammal.
MyFoxBoston.com reports that Mark Hodgdon and his fiancee were scuba diving at a Marshfield beach when they came across the baby seal covered in bite marks.
"There was a whole row of marks going across his belly up on his side," Hodgdon told the station. "You could just tell his whole body was in the shark. It had to have been."
Hodgdon said he brought the seal onto a raft to a better view of its injuries. Photos of the rescue attempt show the seal sticking out its neck out and kissing Hodgdon on the raft.
The couple told MyFoxBoston.com that when a volunteer from the Boston-based New England Aquarium arrived, they didn't want to touch the seal, which was placed back into the water.
Seals are protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act, which makes it illegal to touch or harass the mammals. The couple said they may face a $5,000 fine.
Aquarium officials told the station that even though the couple's intentions were good, anyone who thinks a seal is in distress should instead call the U.S. Coast Guard or emergency officials.