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Seal pup dies after woman takes it home from the beach in a tote bag

This is heartbreaking.

By Natasha Harding

Warning: the below picture may be upsetting.

If you thought your Monday morning couldn’t get any gloomier, think again. This tragic story of a yet another animal which was euthanized due to human ignorance will make you feel equal parts sad and angry.

A harbour seal pup was recently euthanized in the US after a woman mistakenly thought the pup was ‘abandoned’ and carried it home from the beach in a tote bag. Once she got the pup home, she realised she didn’t know how to care for it and called the local aquarium asking for help, but nu the time the volunteers got to the seal, it was too late.

According to ABC News, when the aquarium's director, Marc Myrsell, saw the seal on the woman's deck, it was "alive but extremely lethargic."

Photo from Associated Press

"Usually these animals will snap and struggle to get away if you try to approach them,” Myrsell explains, but unfortunately the pup was deemed “unresponsive, and so much time had gone by" that the team decided the most humane thing to do was to euthanize the seal.

If you ever find a sea animal, Michael Milstein from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration advises people not to touch or attempt to move the it, as this kind of behaviour has already resulted in two deaths this season.

"The best thing people can do to help marine mammals on the beach is to leave them alone, staying 100 yards away, if possible," the NOAA said in a press release.

"Disturbing, feeding or attempting to move young seals or other marine mammals is illegal because it can stress the animals, interfere with their natural behaviour and cause adult seals to abandon their pups."

When will people learn? If it's a sea animal, it needs to stay in the sea people...

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