A private security guard in La Jolla, Calif., was fired for blocking access to a popular beach on the day the first harbor seal of the season was born.
Courts have ruled people have priority over marine mammals at Children's Pool beach in the upscale Southern California enclave.
"Why a security guard felt she had the authority to close a city beach in conflict with a court order, I have no idea," a spokesman for the San Diego mayor's office told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
A colony of harbor seals has congregated at Children's Pool for more than a decade, delighting tourists and beach-goers, the newspaper said.
Last month, a California Superior Court judge confirmed San Diego cannot reinstall a rope barrier to protect the seals during their pupping season from mid-December to early May.
Copyright 2008 by United Press International
Explore further: Doomsday Clock moves closer to midnight, but can we really predict the end of the world?