Seal pup chased to death
A GREY seal pup was chased to its death in the sea off Winterton beach by two boys while their mother looked on.
And a second pup died after it was surrounded by people in the dunes, preventing its mother from getting to it. As a result it was abandoned.
Friends of Horsey Seals, which uses volunteer wardens to watch over the colony, reported the deaths today saying: “This is not acceptable.”
Neither pup had been weaned. The first, which was on the beach just south of the café, drowned because its white fur was not waterproof.
It is understood a warden approached the woman and told why her children should not be allowed to chase it but she ignored his request. The pup’s lifeless body was later found in the water.
A FOHS spokesperson said: Our wardens have been very upset by this today. We don’t usually post this type of thing as we try and keep it positive and educational.
“But two in a day was a little too much. We needs to raise as much awareness about keeping a distance and pups should not be chased into the sea, especially white coats.”
Announcing the losses FOHS said: “We lost two young healthy pups due to human intervention.”
Warning signs at the entrance and on the beach tell people to keep 10 metres away from seals.
Grey seal pups have to remain on land for the first three weeks after they are born because they are unable to swim until their white coat has been replaced with waterproof fur.
Over the years the colony at Horsey has grown and spread down the coast and this year more than 200 pups have been born so far at Winterton. Many more are expected before the season ends in January.
News of the deaths shocked and upset supporters on the FOHS Facebook page.
One said: “Disgusting behaviour. People need to respect these beautiful creatures.”
A mum asked: What the Hell is wrong with people? We take our children every year and they have been taught to give the seals lots of space and respect.”
And another added: “The utter selfishness and stupidity of these people has caused the unnecessary death of these two beautiful seal pups.”