Leave Them Pups Alone!
I think this is kinda bogus.
The guy's getting hammered by the feds for trying to help out a seal pup. Sure, it might not have been the smartest thing to do. Not so much because of the law, but because people often take what they think are abandoned baby animals when the animal might not have been abandoned at all.
Seems to me this is another one of those cases where the situation got out of hand with the feds investigating it and then literally making a federal case out of it when they should have just dropped the whole thing.
They can't do that, though, can they? They're from the government and they're here to help you. Right?
Let's just hope all they do to the guy is give him a symbolic slap on the wrist.
I used to go fishing now and then on the sea wall outside the outflow canal of the Humboldt Bay Power Plant. It was a good place to catch serf perch.
I was fishing there one day with a friend, Don Mckenna, with not much action with the fishing, and this seal pup came swimming by all by itself.
It was just off the rocks and kept swimming back and forth. We got the impression it was looking for a place to crawl up out of the water and lay down.
So I get up and step down a couple rocks and get close to the water. The pup keeps swimming back and forth, just barely out of reach. There was a rock just about a foot under water between me and the pup so I stepped on it, getting my boot all wet but placing me right near the seal.
I reached down and snagged it. It didn't struggle or anything, just flapping his arm flaps a bit. Didn't seem at all scared. It felt like a short haired "real" puppy, but all wet.
I brought it back up to where I'd been sitting and placed it on a flat rock next to me. It didn't seem interested in laying down and immediately started crawling back towards the water. I picked it up and put it back on the rock and it kept trying to crawl back to the water- a somewhat precarious situation I'd put it in since it was a rough enough traverse even for humans there on the sea wall.
Eventually it actually made it off the rock and fell to the one below it. OUCH! That must have hurt.
He made his point. I picked him up and put him back in the water. He slowly paddled his way out towards the center of the bay and we eventually lost sight of him.
Good thing I didn't try and take him home. I could have got in trouble.