The public is asked to keep its distance from grey seals.

HALIFAX: While seals may look cute, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) says they are wild animals and should be left alone.

According to the DFO, seals may react aggressively if they are cornered or believe they are being threatened.

“They can cause serious injuries requiring medical attention,” a DFO press release notes. “If you encounter a seal, do not approach it and keep children and pets away.”

If the seal is a risk to public safety by being near a house, school, business or the road, the public is asked to contact the department’s nearest conservation and protection office. For after hours and on weekends, call 1-800-565-1633.

The DFO added that it is illegal to disturb seals under marine mammal regulations and also illegal to harvest seals without a licence.