People urged to keep dogs on leads after seal attacked in Lowestoft
- Credit: British Divers Marine Life Rescue
Wildlife volunteers have urged dog owners to keep their pets on leads following an attack on a seal pup on a Lowestoft beach.
Concerned visitors spotted a seal pup on the sand and called medics from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) team to North Denes Beach on Friday, September 24.
Before the seal could be transported to a wildlife hospital for care, a dog attacked the pup which left it stressed and with bite marks.
Jo Collins, co-ordinator for the BDMLR for Norfolk and Suffolk, believes dog owners need to be more responsible when walking on beaches or risk the health of their own pets.
"If people take their dogs to the beach, then they must keep their dogs on leads until it is safe," she said. "Seals are dangerous and if a dog gets too close, then the dog itself could get injured. This could also mean that owners receive a hefty vet bill - being cautious is essential."
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Ms Collins acknowledges that while it is a common problem there is more which can be done by dog walkers.
"When a seal pup is three or four weeks old, they leave their mothers and get lost on beaches.
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"If you see a seal, please call a charity to come and help."
Ms Collins said the seal had been taken to a vet at Felixstowe and given antibiotics before being transferred to a wildlife hospital in East Winch - where it has been named after dance group Diversity.
The BDMLR has a mission to provide assistance to any aquatic animal in need of help.
This is done through the training of specialist marine mammal medics and deploying them around the country.
A petition, which has already had 21,000 signatures, has been launched in a bid to implement laws to protect seals against dog attacks and disturbances by humans.
To sign the petition, which runs until Saturday, October 30, click here.