A seal who was "rescued" by walkers from Scarborough beach has been returned to the wild, after it was discovered the seal had not been in trouble at all.
The year-old pup was found on the shoreline - but was simply "taking a break", according to Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary.
Staff at the centre were called out by residents, who had put the pup in a bathtub on Seamer Road.
Lyndsey Crawford, from the sanctuary, said: “Both are to be commended for acting in what they believed to be the animal’s best interests,” she added, “but in reality their rescue efforts were both dangerous and unnecessary.
“The seal proved to be in perfect health, and had probably just hauled out for a snooze, and it’s a minor miracle he didn’t give anyone a nasty bite.”
The bemused seal was fitted with an i.d. tag and returned to the wild.
One of the keepers who has been responsible for feeding Eve says they have been giving her plenty of fish and weighing her every day to make sure she has built up enough blubber to help her survive her cold home waters. Simon Ashburn says she was very underweight when she arrived at Natureland.
Officials on Iceland have turned away a rescued seal which is currently being cared for at a seal sanctuary in Lincolnshire. Staff at Natureland in Skegness have spent recent months nursing Eve back to health after she was found near Chapel St Leonards.
The animal is almost ready to be released back into the wild and the sanctuary hold she cold be taken back to Icelandic waters, close to where it is thought she was born. But officials there say they will not accept her because of the risk of infection.
Eve was first picked up by rescuers in Germany last August. A tracker on her showed she then swam to Scotland but instead of heading north she travelled down the east coast. Natureland staff are now trying to decide what to do with her.