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  1. ITV Report

Urgent warning from seal sanctuary as pup dies after harassment from public

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary and BDMLR are again urging the public to keep their distance from seal pups on the beach. Credit: BDMLR

A seriously ill seal pup who was about to be rescued has died after being harassed into the sea by members of the public.

The condition of the grey pup had been reported to the RSPCA who were on their way to rescue her, but members of the public scared the animal back into the sea.

In the last few years there has been an increasing number of incidents all over the country where seals have been chased back into the sea - whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Marine animal rescue charities British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) and the Cornish Seal Sanctuary are again urging people to keep their distance from seal pups on the beach.

The rescue teams said that the seal could have survived if she had been rescued before being harassed back into the sea. Credit: BDMLR

The seal was scared back into the water near Land's End and when rescue teams arrived, she had already disappeared.

Trained volunteer medics from BDMLR later found the pup draped over rocks with a bloody mouth and deep injuries on the side of her head.

She was also severely malnourished, according to the rescue organisation.

If she had been rescued a couple of days earlier when she was first reported, she would have had a much better chance of survival. Instead, she was forced to starve and suffer because of human actions, no matter how well-intentioned they may have thought they were.

– Dan Jarvis, BDMLR

Rescuers took the pup to the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, but she was later put to sleep.

The rescue charity and Cornish Seal Sanctuary are urging people who find a pup on the beach to keep their distance, don't touch or move it, keep dogs under control and call their hotline for advice.