Warning not to touch or feed 'Spearmint' the seal spotted on Cornish beach

Wildlife experts have warned people to keep their distance from the the one-year-old seal as they try and get her back into the wild. Credit: BPM Media

A seal has made itself at home at a popular beach in Cornwall and been captured on camera sunbathing.

The seal - known as Spearmint - is a one-year-old female who was rescued in Wales and rehabilitated at the RSPCA's West Hatch centre in Somerset.

Wildlife experts have warned people at Cawsand Beach on the Rame Peninsula to keep their distance as they try to get her back into the wild.

They say Spearmint - who has been on the beach for more than a month - has been hand-fed by members of the public and has become "too friendly" with people.

The year-old seal has also been known to join swimmers at Cawsand Beach. Credit: BPM Media

Lizzi Larbalestier, of British Divers Marine Life Rescue, said: "We need her to reconnect with other wild animals.

"She at the moment thinks we are seals. We need to send a strong message out for people to give her space. Her behaviour is the result of interacting with people."

Volunteers have been keeping an eye on her for weeks and signs have been put up asking people not to get too close and to keep their dogs on leads.

The signs warn people to keep dogs on leads, give the seal lots of room and talk in whispers nearby. Credit: BPM Media

But Lizzi says people were still approaching the seal over the weekend.

"The vast majority of people have heeded the warnings but some have stroked the seal", she said.

"We need to get the message across that we are not being killjoys, but we are trying to protect the seal and also the public.

"Many people don't realise that we can catch things from seals."

She also urged swimmers to use one of the other beaches in Kingsand and Caswand to stay away from Spearmint.

The Rame Wildlife Rescue Group posted on Facebook: "We are putting these signs around and asking everyone to be extra vigilant.

"Hopefully our amazing community will do the right thing and follow these simple guidelines, as they have been doing already.

"Most important is to keep all dogs on leads while on the beach.

"Visitors to the beach should not feed the seal, touch the seal, pour water on the seal's back or chase her into the sea."