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Beachgoers warned of danger to seals

5:17 pm, Wednesday, 17th February 2021 - 3 weeks ago

General

People are being urged not to disturb wildlife after a seal was found on Cleethorpes Beach.

Visitors to Cleethorpes beach reported a young seal earlier this week, but the public are being urged to stay away from the animals to avoid causing distress.

The animal was prevented from resting because of constant disturbance and stress caused by people getting too close and dogs barking at it.

Cleethorpes resort officers had to call out the British Marine Divers to move the seal from the North Prom to a sand bank where there were no people.

The marine divers are usually called out to deal with large disturbances, such as beached wales.

Councillor Stewart Swinburn, cabinet member for Environment at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Marine animals are wild animals. They can carry diseases and can cause injury. Don’t put yourself or your dog at risk.

“You should stay well clear of them and contact the Beach Safety Team who will be able to help the animal without causing further distress.”

Seal sightings can be a common sight at this time of year as the winter pups begin to move further from home at Donna Nook and come to rest in Cleethorpes.

The newly—independent seals can happily swim up to 60 miles a day, which can take them as far as the Netherlands.

If resting seals are disturbed, they can become distressed, which can damage their health and use up vital energy they would need to get home.

Rachel Graham, ecology manager for North East Lincolnshire Council, said:

“While the seals are still finding their way around, we are more likely to encounter the seals on Cleethorpes beaches.

“They need to be left alone to rest after a hard day’s swimming and fishing until they’re ready to return home by themselves.

“Seals are a fully protected species in the UK and need to be left alone and undisturbed. The beach is their natural habitat.”

If you see a seal, the best thing to do is call the Beach Safety Team on 01472 323356.

Don’t get too close – seals can give a nasty bite!

Keep a watch from a safe distance and try to keep other people and dogs away until assistance arrives.

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