Harbor seals are often very skittish and if disturbed might abandon their pups. Rookeries are often well protected and fenced off for their protection. Education is key as the pups can swim shortly after birth and are sometimes left behind while mom feeds. Sometimes an unknowing passerby (surfers, etc.) might think the pup was abandoned and try to save it, which leads to true abandonment. They are true seals, or phocids, and as such have no external ear flaps and short front flippers. When they move, they make a lumbering slug-like motion called galumphing! Their colors can vary.