Photo: ONYXprj, gvictoria (iStock)

I am a father to a 3-year-old boy, and in his bedroom are dozens of books, many containing anthropomorphized cartoon animals. Seals, as I’ve discovered, are frequently depicted as skilled jugglers, an expert balancer of balls, and fans of vaudevillian garb. Allow me to throw cold water on this cute imagery: Seals are not humans. Seals, according to SeaWorld, enjoy a diet of seafoods such as squid, crustaceans, and fish.

Do not feed a seal a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Won’t listen to me? Then listen to the officials at Department of Natural Resources in Wareham, Massachusetts, who are discouraging well-intentioned but misguided folks from feeding seals PB&J. The Boston Globe is reporting that onlookers surrounded a seal, thinking the animal was sick, on the shore at Swifts Beach, about an hour’s drive south of Boston. The harp seal cub, however, was not sick, but according to the DNR spokesperson, was “just trying to rest.” Still, several worried onlookers tried to wrap the cub in blankets, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were found near the animal.

People: It’s used to the cold weather. Seals have a layer of subcutaneous fat that keeps them plenty warm. Also, seals would prefer shellfish over your Uncrustables. Listen to the experts: Stay away, baby seal is doing fine, and don’t try to put a top hat on one.