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Massachusetts couple faces charges after helping injured seal

By Mason White 5:25 AM July 26, 2013
Mark Hodgdon helping injured seal 

By: Shifra Unger
(Scroll down for video) A couple thought they are doing a good thing, but police aren’t impressed at all, according to police reports in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts couple, who tried to help a wounded seal on a beach area could face charges and a fine of $5,000 for touching the stranded mammal.

Mark Hodgdon and his girlfriend were on a beach in Marshfield when they found the baby seal covered with bite marks.
“There was a whole row of bite marks running through its belly from its side,” Hodgdon said. “You could say that its whole body was bitten by a shark. Had to have been,” he also said.

Hodgdon said he took the seal on a raft in order to get a better view of its injuries. Photos showed his rescue attempt of the seal, and also showed him kissing the seal.

The couple said that when a volunteer of the Boston, New England Aquarium arrived, they did not want to touch the seal. It was dumped back into the water.

Seals are protected by the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act that makes it illegal to touch or harass mammals. The couple was told that they could face a fine of $5,000.

Aquarium officials said despite the fact that the couple’s intentions were good, anyone who thinks a seal is in danger should call the U.S. Coast Guard or emergency authorities.