Mayor closes Children's Pool after alleged seal abuse - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Mayor closes Children's Pool after alleged seal abuse

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The La Jolla Children's Pool is closed after an emergency order from Mayor Bob Filner.

The emergency order, closing the pool, started the night of Tuesday, March 19 and will be in effect between sunset and sunrise. This move was prompted by alleged abuse of harbor seals and their pups captured on video in February.

The video shows two young women at the Children's Pool harassing mother seals and their pups, kicking, punching and sitting on top of them. The video, which quickly went viral, was captured on a 24-hour "seal cam" that was introduced in January. It's equipped with night vision so researchers and the public can watch the seals give birth during pupping season.

Wildlife advocate Andrea Hahn told News 8 that while the video was crucial for the mayor to execute this emergency permit, harassment of the seals during pupping season has always been a continuous problem.

"We've had reports of poaching. We've had shootings here at night. We've had seal mutilation at night," Hahn said.

The temporary closure will allow the seals to give birth and nurse their young and will remain in effect until May 15 - the official end of seal pupping season.

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