Shock footage as man harasses pregnant seal at Horsey

Man harasses pregnant seal at Horsey Norfolk

Shocking footage has been shared showing a man harassing a pregnant seal on the beach at Horsey. - Credit: Haylea Allison

A man has been blasted for taunting a pregnant seal and disturbing many others at Horsey.

The man, part of a group with a toddler, is seen aggressively approaching the colony and chasing a pregnant grey seal which had no option but to escape into the water.

The footage has been tagged as "shocking and distressing" and added to calls for stronger laws to protect seals.

Haylea Allison, from Norwich, who was behind the lens, described how she had been walking with her sister and nephew on Sunday (August 22) when she witnessed the abuse.

Seal disturbance at Horsey Norfolk

A passer-by was so worried by the proximity of a group of people to the seals at Horsey that she spoke up to intervene but was ignored and spat at. - Credit: Haylea Allison

Initially she was concerned for a young child among the group, as well as for the seals, as the adults jostled and attempted to push each other over.

Mrs Allison said she addressed them from a distance, warning them the animals could pose a danger to the child, but was just waved away.

Meanwhile a man on the dunes, shouted down, she initially thought in support.

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In fact he was also part of the group, giving her "a mouthful" and spitting in her direction.

"They did not care at all," she said. "I am down there quite often and have never witnessed anything like that before. There was a total lack of respect. They were not listening to me, they were far too close.

"They must have been there a good hour with a child of around one. Why risk it?"

Seal worrying at Horsey Norfolk

Wardens have been deployed for the first time ever in August to deal with a spike in seal worrying with more animals on the beach and more visitors to the coast. - Credit: Haylea Allison

Jane Bowden, of the Friends of Horsey Seals, said she had received a separate report about the incident from a family who described the same "ignorant and reckless" behaviour.

They said the "cruel" culprit had laughed at them as he taunted the animals and that their daughter was "incredibly upset" for the seals.

Mrs Bowden said wardens had been deployed for the first time ever in August to deal with a spike in seal worrying.

Peter Ansell, chairman of the Friends of Horsey Seals said: "This was a totally irresponsible action by the participants, not only putting themselves and their small child at risk, but deliberately and wantonly disturbing a number of pregnant females which could potentially cause premature births."

Over 11,000 people have put their names to a petition calling for stronger laws to protect seals, but 100,000 are needed to force a debate in parliament.