'Thoughtless humans' hurl stones at dying seal as police attempt to protect animal

28 October 2021, 21:44 | Updated: 28 October 2021, 22:16

The seal is being protected by police.
The seal is being protected by police. Picture: RSPCA

By Emma Soteriou

A crowd has hurled stones at a dying seal on a beach in Norfolk, forcing police to intervene.

The RSPCA shared images of the crowd that had gathered on Great Yarmouth beach, criticising the "thoughtless humans" that had approached, touched and thrown stones at the animal.

The seal remains uninjured but it is weak and at the end of its life stage, the animal charity said.

Seal groups and police have continued monitoring the animal to determine whether it is suffering to the extent that euthanasia should be carried out.

"We are respectfully asking people to stay away," the charity tweeted.

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However, several visitors have continued to ignore the request, which the RSPCA suggested was down to a rise in 'staycations' drawing people to the area.

Warning some viewers may find the clip below distressing.

A Wildlife Crime and Rural Officer was present at the scene to keep people away, but it did not prove effective.

Chairman of Marine and Wildlife Rescue Dan Goldsmith is reported to have said: "It's absolutely exacerbating.

"People were picking up stones and throwing them at the seal. Whether that was to get it to move, I don't know.

"Police were constantly needing to tell people to move back - they were getting within a foot of the seal.

"People don't appreciate that it should be left to rest."

The RSPCA said that "it is likely [the seal] will need euthanasia". However, it cannot be organised until crowds dissipate.

It comes after the organisation also warned people to stay away from other pups on Norfolk beaches.

"Seals are wild animals and easily stressed PLEASE keep at least 10m away," the RSPCA tweeted on Monday.

"Pups are meant to be on the beach - PLEASE don’t touch.

"Putting sick seal pups in the sea will kill them.

"Whitecoat pups are NOT waterproof!"

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Following the charity's several warnings, furious animal lovers criticised the public online.

One user said: "What is wrong with people?"

Meanwhile, Twitter user Jill Taylor said: "Why can’t people just leave them alone? Idiots!"

Twitter user Yonnette Ward said: "What is wrong with some people, throwing stones - seriously.

"I was at a beach on Sunday where a young seal had beached himself - everyone around was concerned, respectful, keeping their dogs away when asked/realised what was happening, whilst we all waited for BDMLR (British Divers Marine Life Rescue) to arrive."