A recent video showing two women harassing harbor seals at Children's Pool beach in La Jolla has prompted San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to order the immediate closure of the beach overnight.
“I felt it was important to take this step after evidence of individuals seen on videotape harassing, taunting and causing stress to the seals,” Filner said in a statement.
The closure will be enforced until May 15, when the pupping season is expected to end. San Diego Police Department officers have also stepped up patrols of the area.
The video footage, seen above, is from a recently installed web camera put in place so that viewers can watch the seals. The cam includes infrared capability -- which is how the two women were caught on video harassing seals.
"The pregnant seals are giving birth and when they’re harassed, they end up being separated from their offspring, and then the chances of survival for the offspring are very much reduced," Larry Wan, founder of the Western Alliance for Nature, which installed and oversees the video camera, told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
"And if they’re forced into the sea when they’re giving birth, that also doesn’t bode well for the seals."
San Diego Police Department Capt. Brian Ahearn, who oversees the department's Northern Division, said that the harassment case involving the two women caught on the video is still being investigated.
-- Kelly Burgess
Video from La Jolla Light via YouTube