New video shows more harbor seal harassment at La Jolla's Children's Pool

LA JOLLA, Calif. - New video shows mother seals and pups being harassed by people at the Children's Pool in La Jolla. The group behind the video says it's further proof why San Diego Mayor Bob Filner had to restrict access to beach for the next two months.

The video released Wednesday shows three people chasing mother and seal pups into the water.

A second video shows a man with a flashlight who crossed the rope meant to keep humans away from the seals. For nearly 10 minutes, he walks around, takes pictures, and he also chases seals into the water.

Pam Thomas, a volunteer with La Jolla Friends of the Seals, said chasing the seal, also called flushing, can ultimately lead to pups dying.

"They all rush out to the water at the same time," said Thomas. "In the process of that happening, mother and pups get separated from each other."

The group supports Filner's decision to close off the Children's Pool from sunset to sunrise until May, when pupping season ends.

"There's been so many incidents of abuse and harassment to the seals after dark," said Thomas.

Many other San Diego residents aren't happy with the decision.

"We don't really like the idea of it being closed," said Chuck Martinez, a longtime San Diego County resident.

Martinez doesn't believe seals should be allowed at the Children's Pool, an area originally meant for children. He believes seals could nurse elsewhere and would be safer if they were away from humans.            

Another group, Friends of the Children's Pool, called Filner's emergency order to restrict access to the Children's Pool "illegal."

"The closure of a public beach under an emergency permit is both unlawful and a gross overreaction," the group stated.

The group cites police presence at the Children's Pool, believing it's enough to keep would-be seal harassers away -- activity Friends of the Children's Pool condemns.

The San Diego Police Department told 10News video of two women sitting on and hitting the seals is under investigation, although no arrests have been made.

Police remind visitors that attacking seals is a violation of federal and local law.

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