Beach camera captures people taunting seals -

Beach camera captures people taunting seals

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego's mayor has ordered a two-month nighttime shutdown of a beach after cameras set up to monitor a seal colony captured people kicking, punching and sitting on top of mother seals and their pups.

Mayor Bob Filner said in a statement Tuesday that the La Jolla beach known as Children's Pool will be closed between sunset and sunrise until May 15.

That takes the closure through the end of seal pupping season during which seals giver birth to and nurse their young, explains CBS San Diego affiliate KFMB-TV.

The 24-hour "seal-cam" was introduced in January and equipped with night vision so researchers and the public could watch the seals give birth.

But the camera captured people abusing and harassing the seals and driving them from their resting places.

Wildlife advocate Andrea Hahn tells KFMB harassment of the seals during pupping season has been a problem for years. "We've had reports of poaching. We've had shootings here at night. We've had seal mutilations at night."

The beach has been the center of a long legal fight over human access versus seal protection.

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