'Very selfish people' - Anger as visitors approach seal despite warning signs
PUBLISHED: 15:14 30 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:19 31 December 2019
Visitors to a beach have been labelled 'inconsiderate' after walking through dunes and approaching a seal.
The criticism came after a series of attacks and deaths of the animal due to human intervention, with the incidents provoking fury among residents of Winterton, one of the string of coastal villages which sees seal numbers increase every winter during breeding season.
The latest encounter happened on Monday morning (December 30) and was photographed by Carole Anne Frost, 48, who was visiting the beach with her relatives.
Ms Frost said she saw a family of four come from the dunes and walk onto the strand.
"The warden in the car park had been telling visitors to keep out of the dunes as there were seal pups there so we were all shocked they walked out of the dunes," she said.
"Then when they proceeded to walk up to the pup I shouted out keep away from the pup which they ignored.
"My husband whistled and shouted again keep back from the pup but they still ignored us."
She said the foursome moved away only after one of them had finished taking photos.
Signs warning people to stay at least ten metres away from the seals have been erected on the beach.
"They must have walked past at least five of those signs," Ms Frost said.
Earlier this month, a seal pup died after being surrounded by a number of people, causing its mother to abandon it after being unable to reach her young pup.
Friends of Horsey Seals, the volunteer organisation which monitors the colony, has previously told how a seal pup had drowned after being chased into the waves, despite the intervention of a warden who faced abuse.
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On social media people responded angrily to the photo of the people approaching the seal.
A woman said: "These idiots will end up spoiling it for everyone cause the beach will be shut off eventually. Absolute clowns."
One suggested that rangers should be allowed to issue on the spot fines.
Another person commented: "Very selfish people. They should get a big fine for that. Leave the seals alone for God's sake."