A healthy young seal sits on a beach near Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport in Trenton. Credit: Maine Marine Patrol

The federal government is reminding New Englanders that attempting to take a selfie with a seal or a seal pup is a very bad idea.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration acknowledges that seal pups are adorable, but also says “the best thing you can do for them is to keep your distance.” It says people and pets should stay at least 150 feet away from seals.

NOAA says the popularity of seal selfies is posing “a new threat to wildlife and humans.” It says using a zoom lens instead is fine.

The agency says it’s receiving daily reports about seals and seal pups. That’s likely because gray seal pupping season is going on in New England right now, and it will be followed by harbor seal pupping in May.