SAN DIEGO — A two-month nighttime shutdown of a San Diego beach after infrared 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 give birth to and nurse their young, explained 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.
Shockingly the camera captured people abusing and harassing the seals and driving them from their resting places. Wildlife advocate Andrea Hahn told KFMB harassment of the seals during pupping season has been a problem for years.
“We’ve had reports of poaching,” said Hahn. “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.
***CBS News contributed to this report***