Ventspils city ended up in the spotlight in an unusual way this week: seals washed up on the beach in Ventspils. Animal Freedom association emphasizes that human contact with baby seals would hurt them. Residents are asked to maintain at least 50 m distance from them. In spite of recommendations, however, the suspended Mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs decided to take photos with baby seals and publish them on his Facebook profile.
Of course, Lembergs is not the only one who decided to post photos on the internet. However, while other residents received harsh words for coming close to baby seals, Lembergs has received nothing but praise for his actions.
People continue voicing their surprise on social networks. However, while some people are happy, this whole situation creates a great deal of stress on baby seals.
It is worth mentioning that Ventspils city’s Facebook profile reports that the beach was surveyed by Ventspils Municipal Police on Wednesday, 21 March. From Thursday onward, however, police presence will be provided constantly.
Visitors to the beach wishing to see baby seals are asked to follow specific rules:
-it is not allowed to chase seals into water. They feel comfortable on land. Baby seals do not have enough fat to remain in water for long;
-it is not allowed to touch or move baby seals – they bite;
-it is not allowed to feed baby seals! They do not eat fish at this stage in life;
-if a baby seal looks weak or injured, it is necessary to call Nature Protection Office by 29198590.
Sigitas Znotiņa wrote on her Facebook profile: «Please remember to maintain a distance from baby seals. Keep children away and don’t approach them with cameras. It is best to use cameras with good magnification from a distance.» Photos in her profile’s gallery were made from a distance.