Baby seals 'orphaned' when people chased them into the sea away from their mums

A charity has warned people not to chase baby seals off the beach and into the sea, as this means they can become separated from their parents.

The pups are found later, looking skinny and unwell and in need of care.

One RSPCA centre is looking after so many it has effectively turned into a ‘seal orphanage’.

The East Winch Wildlife Centre in Norfolk has received an influx.

Centre manager Alison Charles told Radio Norwich that they are looking after one young seal named Cannelloni which is thought to have been chased into the sea in Suffolk.

She told how seals are able to swim from birth, but often need to rest on beaches to gather their strength when young.

Ms Charles said: ‘We are becoming increasingly concerned by reports that some members of the public are chasing pups back into the water when they see them resting on the beach.

‘This is really concerning because the reason the pup is resting on the beach is likely because they are exhausted due to being so young and still building up their strength.’

The centre has already received around half a dozen reports of seals being chased off beaches this year, she said.

‘We are currently caring for one seal, who we have named Cannellini , who was rescued from Corton, Suffolk on Sunday,’ she told the radio station.

‘It was understood that the day before, he had been chased back in the sea at Lowestoft, Suffolk.’

After a seal is rescued, it can take up to five months to build them up so they are strong enough to be released back into the wild.

People should avoid seals and keep dogs away from them on a lead, the RSPCA said.

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