It's that time of year again, when you head to Rockaway Beach with your best friends, crack open a cold one from your millennial pink cooler, and wait. For what? A seal, remember? You love taking selfies with them! #SquadGoals! But please don't do that.

NOAA is asking very nicely that humans refrain from taking selfies with seals this year, and every year. They sent out an alert today noting that it's seal pupping season, and if you head to the beach you may just spot a seal pup resting in the sand.

As tempting as it might be to get that perfect shot of yourself or your child with an adorable seal pup, please do the right thing and leave the seal pup alone. Getting too close to a wild animal puts you—and the animal-at risk. There is no selfie stick long enough!

They also remind us, as if that viral video of a girl being yanked into the waters by one of our future pinniped overlords wasn't enough, that "seals have powerful jaws, and can leave a lasting impression." You know what, maybe don't even go near the seal.

It is normal for a mother seal to leave her young pup alone on the beach for up to 24 hours while she feeds. You may not see the mother offshore, but if she sees you near her pup, she may not think it's safe to come back. It might only take a few seconds for you to snap the photo, but the mother may abandon her pup if she feels threatened. For the seal pup, the consequences can be devastating.

#posingwithaseal #sealselfie #whatanepiccreature #wildlife #idubtheescratchy

A post shared by Marlese Truter (@marlesetruter) on

Yeah, #sealselfies are a thing


Here are some more rules from NOAA. Your best bet, however, is to just run away from the seal pup... but in a way that doesn't make it feel self conscious.

N.B. Don't take selfies with sharks, either. Not even celebrity shark Mary Lee.