CARMEL, Calif. (KTVU) – The Marine Mammal Center says a vacationing family removed a harbor seal pup from a Garrapata Beach, just south of Carmel, placed the pup inside their recreational vehicle and drove north on Highway 1.
“I have no idea what was in the minds of these individuals,” said Jeff Boehm Executive Director of the Marine Mammal Center. “I got to believe they were well intentioned, but I have no idea what their plan was.”
Boehn says the seal pup was snatched up on April 4 and has since been recovering at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. Volunteer Lucy Stevenot has been right there with her since she arrived. “She’s eager for fish and likes spending time in the pool,” said Stevenot.
Boehm says two of his volunteers in the Monterey area heard about the seal pup snatching and were able to track down the motor home, where the pup was found inside a laundry basket.
“They followed the RV to a parking lot and talked to the folks to let them know the little harbor seal they had,” said Boehm, “Would have been best left on the beach.”
The Marine Mammal Center says the family drove off as soon as they handed over the pup to the volunteers. The volunteers placed the seal pup in the BMW they were driving, all company vehicles were being used at the time, and took the seal to be examined. They named the pup “Beemer Cruise” after her little adventure.
Boehm says he wants to remind people this holiday weekend, and all days, that it’s illegal to remove marine wildlife from their habitat.
“They’re so darn cute that people feel compelled to do something to take care of this animal,” he said, “Unbeknownst to them that, that animal doesn’t need any care from them whatsoever. So were consistently trying to get the message out leave seals be.”
No word on when Beemer Cruise will be released back into the ocean.