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The Boston Globe

Lifestyle

G Cover

What to do when you see a seal

When a marine mammal turns up on the beach, the goal is to avoid unnecessary human intervention

EDGARTOWN — On a cloudy day in mid-May, David Nash makes what has become almost a daily trip to South Beach, responding to a call about a distressed seal that has hauled itself out of the ocean. He arrives with a camera, a tape measure, grease pencils, and a list of observations he must make.

The seal looks at Nash with big dog-like eyes, absent any apparent alarm. This tells him that this seal might be the same one reported earlier in the week at a different location. The seal is getting used to human interaction — which actually isn’t a good thing.

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