San Diego's mayor has ordered a two-month night time shutdown of a beach after 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.
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 during pupping season.
But the camera captured people abusing and harassing the seals and driving them from their resting places.
The beach has been the centre of a long legal fight over human access versus seal protection.