Seal pup rescued after being 'pelted' with rocks by youths

A seal pup had to be rescued by a group of dog walkers after it was "pelted with" rocks by a group of youths.

The baby seal, which had visible injuries to its face and body, was spotted at around 8am on Thursday.

It was alone on Pensarn Beach, Abergele some 300m from the water with the mother no where to be seen.

A witness said that a group of youths had thrown rocks at the seal on Wednesday night.

Concerned for the pup’s safety, the walkers took the seal from the beach and put it into the back of a car until the RSPCA arrived.

David Hoyle, who helped rescue the animal, said he was alerted to the stranded pup by his father-in-law, who had spotted it while walking his dog.

He said: “I went down there and on my way we saw another guy we see walking his dog and he said that last night he had confronted a group of teenagers who were seen throwing rocks at the pup and its mum.

“It ended in a confrontation and he told them to leave it alone.

“When I got down there its face was bloodied and its nose was full of snot. It looked like it had chips missing off its side.

“It was also in a lot of distress because it had been attacked so it had no trust.”

Mr Hoyle said they looked around to see if the pup’s mother could be seen, but there was no sign of it.

He said: “I think it had been driven off by the youths so we decided we had to try to get the pup off the beach before it got more injured. We managed to carry it up to the coastal path and get it into the back of a car. The RSPCA then arrived and they have had to take it to a special centre.”

The seal pup was put in the back of a helpers car before the RSPCA arrived

Tony Roberts, who runs the North Wales Canine Hydrotherapy centre in Pensarn, was also part of the group that helped rescue the animal.

He said: “I was walking the dog and the dog found it right up at the top of the beach.

“It was about two or three hundred metres from the sea and it was not in the best of health.

“I rang the RSPCA and they were really helpful but they couldn’t really tell me when a local inspector could come out and by this time there were quite a few bystanders and the seal decided to take off. I stuck a dog lead on it because I didn’t think it could cope on its own.”

Mr Roberts said he and Mr Hoyle then decided to move the seal from the beach.

He said: “I had heard youths had been throwing rocks at it but whether it was the same animal I don’t know. It was battered and bruised.

“Everyone on the beach either helped or offered to help which was nice to see.”

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “RSPCA Cymru has collected the seal pup, which is now safely at specialist wildlife facilities for rehabilitation and care; with injuries being monitored and assessed.

“This seal clearly needed our help and we thank those people who alerted us to its plight: anyone wishing to make more information available to us can always contact our 24-hour emergency line.”

The spokesman added: “Generally it’s not unusual to see a seal pup by itself, as their mothers will leave them alone very early on in life.

“If a member of the public finds a seal pup that looks fit and healthy and shows no signs of distress, we advise monitoring first from a safe distance for 24 hours. However, if the mother doesn’t return after 24 hours or the pup appears distressed, injured or unwell, or is on a busy public beach, our 24-hour emergency line can be reached on 0300 1234 999.

“People should stay at a safe distance and keep dogs well away, as seals can have a very nasty bite.”

The incident comes just weeks after reports of men being seen throwing rocks at seals in the Llandudno area.