ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) —  The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is urging boaters and beach-goers to report stranded sea turtles and marine mammals.

DNR officials say bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles and even manatees are seen during summer months in Maryland. People should stay at least 150 feet away from animals to keep from disturbing their normal activity and boaters should turn off their engines if a sea turtle or dolphin swims nearby.

Sightings or strandings can be reported by calling the department’s 24-hour hotline — 800-628-9944.

Agency officials say remains of dead sea turtles or mammals should not be touched because they can transfer disease to people and pets.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)



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