Four dead seal pups discovered on Winterton beach and human interference could be to blame

PUBLISHED: 10:52 14 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:12 14 January 2018

Archive picture of a seal pup on Horsery beach. Four dead pups have been discovered on Winterton beach Picture: James Bass

Archive picture of a seal pup on Horsery beach. Four dead pups have been discovered on Winterton beach Picture: James Bass

James Bass © 2015

The chairman of a seal protection group hopes the deaths of four pups will remind beachgoers how important it is the give the creatures their space.

Four seal pups were found dead on Winterton beach, with fears that human interference could have been the cause of their deaths.

Their bodies were found in a clutch together, leading to the belief their mother may had been spooked by human visitors to the beach and abandoned the helpless pups.

Peter Ansell, chairman of the Friends of Horsey Seals, said while they could not know for certain this was the case, it was probable that people did not help the cause.

He said: “It is quite probable the mum was scared off by people getting too close and abandoned the pups, leaving them to fend for themselves - which at their age they cannot do.

“At Winterton it is almost impossible to keep the public completely away short of closing the beach - which we can’t do - but it is so important not to get too close to the them.”

While many visitors to do beach to stay a respectful distance from the creatures, there have been reports of some people not staying clear, including one allegation that a father had attempted to place his son on a seal’s back.

Mr Ansell added: “In future, we do want to try and get more volunteers to Winterton to explain to the public what can happen if seals are disturbed, however with the majority of the colony in Horsey, it is much harder to monitor Winterton.

“There are certain ways of telling you are too close. If the mother starts to move in between you and her pups then you should always back off. If you continue and the mother retreats, they will probably never return.

“People also often forget they are wild animals and the other possibility is they will get aggressive and serious hurt someone.”

The Friends are keen to recruit more volunteer wardens to help protect the creatures, as the colony continues to spread. Anybody interested should contact Mr Ansell on 01493 748516.

Anybody who witnesses a seal in distress should immediately contact the nearest warden or call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999

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