'They're not dogs': Reminder to stay away from seals on Norfolk's beaches

Grey Seal colony resting on the beach at Horsey, NorfolkFebruary 2010Picture: James BassFor: FilerEa

Grey Seal colony resting on the beach at Horsey, Norfolk. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2010

People are being reminded to keep their distance from seals on Norfolk beaches as breeding season starts.

Friends of Horsey Seals has taken to Facebook to remind people to not get too close to Norfolk's seal population.

The warning came after photos were sent to the charity of groups of people getting within metres of the seals to take photographs.

Jane Bowden, a trustee and Seal Warden of the group, said: "With so many people taking staycations this year, there’s been a lot more people on the beach than normal.

"While most behave how they should, there’s a minority who think its okay to go up to them, try to touch them, and entice them as if they’re pets; they're not dogs.

"Seals are wild animals and they're putting both themselves danger and the seals."

The group dedicated to protecting the seals of Horsey and Winterton wants people to remain 10m away from the animals, following multiple incidents of seals being abused over the summer.

Incidents include a dog attacking a young seal on Great Yarmouth beach and two men harassing another seal on the same stretch of coast.

Beachgoers getting too close to seals on Horsey beach

Friends of Horsey Seals posted pictures on Facebook of people getting too close to seals on the beach. - Credit: Friends of Horsey Seals

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Mrs Bowden added: "A majority of seals on the beach are pregnant cow seals who have come to the shore to rest and digest food.

"Every time you chase a seal back into the sea and spook them, there is a chance the seal will abort it’s pup, so it is just not acceptable."

Seals will head back into the sea if they are panicked and if someone gets in their way, there is a chance that they can get hurt.

A dog was seen attacking a seal on South Beach in Great Yarmouth.

A dog was seen attacking a seal on Great Yarmouth beach earlier this month. - Credit: Friends of Horsey Seals

The seal warden continued: "We’re coming up to breeding season and the bull seals start coming to shore around this time of year.

"As breeding season starts, they have more testosterone and they fight for the right to mate with cows.

"If a human gets between a couple of bull seals who are fighting, it can be very dangerous."

Those wanting to help look after Norfolk's seals should remain a safe distance from them and refrain from touching them.

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