Fury at bikers' who rode over dead seal pup
- Credit: Dr Sarah Lloyd
The actions of a pair of trail bikers around the body of a dead seal pup on a north Norfolk beach have been labelled "extremely callous".
The Friends of Horsey Seals charity said two bikers were seen deliberately riding over the pup on Friday, December 2 at around 2.45pm at Eccles-on-Sea beach, and police said they were there seen in late morning. The seal was thought to have been dead before the bikers rode over it, but PC Thomas Walsh from Norfolk Police said it was still not clear what happened.
PC Thomas Walsh said: "Obviously this is a disturbing incident."
"We have a duty of care to protect the wildlife on our coasts and we are keen for people to come forward to give us more information.
"We always urge people to act responsibly and ensure the seal population is not disturbed and we will act against those who wilfully harm our wildlife.”
Peter Ansell, chairman of the seal charity, said there was concern the bikers could return to the beach and put other seals in danger.
Mr Ansell said: "It is a particularly worrying incident at a time when hundreds of grey seals are giving birth and are particularly vulnerable situation on the beach.
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"The fact that these two bikers rode over this pup more than once is particularly callous and nasty. We only hope someone will come forward and identify them and prevent anything similar from happening again."
The incident has been reported to the police and the RSPCA and the seal pup's body was removed today (Saturday, December 4).
Another spokesman from the seals group said a post-mortem examination would be carried out on the seal try and establish the cause of its death.
The spokesman said: "Whizzing around a beach on bikes could be put down to high spirits but to repeatedly ride over a solitary pup at Eccles, dead or alive, seems to be at the least an extremely callous act.
"Obviously we would like to find out because of a potential risk to other pups. What we are hoping is that the bikers can be identified and spoken to at the very least."
The spokesman said the seal appeared to be fully weaned before its death and in good health, probably around four to five weeks old.
The incident was witnessed by several beachgoers, including vet Dr Sarah Lloyd.
She said the bikes were being ridden close together and circled around several times. Dr Lloyd said she did not see any number plates but said she thought both riders were wearing helmets.
Dr Lloyd, who said: "There was an injury to the muzzle and the pup’s neck was at a sharp angle, and a severe injury to the right side of the neck. I shouted at them, but they made off at speed towards Sea Palling."
Anyone with information should contact PC Walsh on 101 quoting reference 495 of December 3. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555111.