BOSTON (AP) — Federal scientists say the Northeast’s harbor seal pupping season is starting two months early and they’re urging people to be cautious when they see the young animals.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say harbor seals tend to give birth in May and June on rocky islands, ledges or sandy beaches along the coast. But this year, seal pup sightings were reported in March.

Researchers can’t explain why the season is early this year.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Laurie Kirby reports

But they say people encountering the animals should stay away. They say the animals may look cute, but they’re still wild and could bite or spread disease. They also might abandon their pups to flee an approaching dog or human.

It’s against the law to handle or interact with the seals.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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