An animal welfare charity has urged people not to worry if they see seal pups resting on the beach.
The Scottish SPCA was called out today by well-meaning passerbys who spotted a pup on its own on Aberdeen beach.
However, officer Debbie Gibson said it appeared to be a “perfectly healthy, chubby, seal pup” and that she’s hopeful it will go back to the water after a rest.
She said: “We arrived at 12pm, an hour before high tide. It is not uncommon to see seals on beaches at this time of year, as they will come ashore to moult their fur, for much needed rest, or to digest their food.
“This seal had completed its moult and had a dark coat. It looked to be a perfectly healthy, chubby seal pup, and we are hopeful it will return to the water after it has rested.”
Concerns had been raised by passers-by that some dog walkers were getting too close to the seal.
Ms Gibson urged anyone who spots a seal or any other wildlife they believe to be injured to stay well away, and watch from a distance before calling the Scottish SPCA helpline on 03000 999 999.
Dead catacean spotted at the Ythan
Meanwhile, Ythan Seal Watch has also urged people to stay away from a dead cetacean on the Ythan shoreline.
The find has been reported to the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme (SMASS) for further investigation.
However the team has shared the organisation’s contact numbers so people can report such discoveries themselves.
Run by the University of Glasgow, SMASS volunteers sometimes undertake post-mortems on suitable cases to try to uncover the cause of death.
These examinations provide insight into diseases, environmental contaminant levels, reproductive patterns, diet, and other aspects of the general health of populations.
To report a dead or stranded marine animal e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07979 245893 or 01463 243030.
Callers should try to give as much information as possible, including what they’ve found, its size, a precise location and how fresh it is.
Members of the group also warned dog walkers to keep their pets away from the carcass.
“If anyone spots a seal or any other wildlife and believe it to be injured, please monitor from a safe distance and call our helpline on 03000 999 999.”