Man 'punches' seal with balled fist at Horsey
PUBLISHED: 11:47 10 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:50 11 April 2018
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Thousands of seals are lolling on Horsey beach for the annual molt, spending as little time in the cold North Sea as possible.
But many people are getting far too close - one man even seen to lightly punch a seal which lolloped away towards the waves.
Hobby photographer Jo Clarke, from Horsford, was shocked to see dozens of people milling around the colony at Horsey poking lenses in faces and treating the scene more like a zoo than a wonder of wild nature.
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She said: “I was concerned about how close people were getting and their attitude to wild animals that could bite them or become stressed.
“I cannot understand why people have that approach.
“I went on to the top of the dunes to take some high-up shots and started taking pictures because I thought they were too close.
“One of the chaps lightly punched one of the seals.
“I have no idea why he would do that, I think he just thought it was a fun thing to do. It just lolloped away. I just could not believe it.
“I always stay as far back as I can.”
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The Horsey colony is reckoned to be about 4,000-strong with more than 1,800 pups born on the beaches last season.
Peter Ansell, chairman of the Friends of Horsey Seals, said it was moulting season for the grey seals who were shedding both their fine inner coat and coarse outer coat.
For the seals it meant lounging about the sands and having a good scratch, nipping into the biting waters for a quick feed here and there.
Hundreds and even thousands could be seen at any one time during the four to six weeks it took for all of them to lose their winter coats, proving a big draw.
“They do not need to be poked or prodded or shoved into the sea,” he said.
“It will distress them if people keep winding them up. They do not want to spend too much time in the sea.”
The Friends group is always on the lookout for volunteer wardens ahead of the busy breeding season which starts in October.
To find out more call Mr Ansell on 01493 748516.