People walking on the Ocean City beach Sunday had an encounter with a sunbather of a different kind - a seal pup. The seal washed ashore on the 17th Street beach and sat along the water's edge until, according to Facebook accounts, a woman chased the seal back into the ocean.

This seems like a good time to review what the Marine Mammal Stranding Center advises if you ever see a beached seal.  First, don't touch. Doing so is often more harmful to the animal and it is a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Marine mammals, including seals, sea lions, sea otters, whales and dolphins, are federally protected.

Harbor Seal pups spend much of their time out of the water on beaches warming up or resting while their moms are away feeding, sometimes for up to 48 hours. More often than not, a pup does not need help. You may observe the pup from more than 100 yards away with binoculars or a spotting scope.

If you believe a Harbor Seal pup or other marine mammal has been unattended by his mom for more than 48 hours, or is clearly in distress or injured, you should report the stranding to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center 24-hour hotline at 609-266-0538

With that warning out of the way, a seal on the beach isn't something you see everyday, so take a look at this very cool video.

This video of the seal pup on the Ocean City beach, courtesy of Jamie Weir's Facebook page...

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