Over 100 terrified seals flee into sea because of plastic bag
"There is a risk that new born pups, or even smaller adult seals could be crushed in the panic or abandoned."
By Lauren Beavis via SWNS
Shocking video shows a plastic bag blowing across the beach - causing over 100 terrified seals to "stampede" into the sea in danger of being crushed.
In the footage, a bag for life can be seen whirling across Waxham Beach, Norfolk, UK scaring a large group of marine animals which charge into the ocean.
Animal welfare charity Friends of Horsey Seals has issued an urgent appeal following the incident on July 17 - insisting people not leave trash on the beach.
The charity shared the heartbreaking footage on their social which read: "Here is a bit of a stark reminder not to leave anything behind on the beach.
"The issue is many of theses are heavily pregnant common seals or ones that have just given birth. It is amazing how one shopping bag and a little bit of wind could cause such fear among the seals causing them to stampede into the sea.
"Please don't leave rubbish on the beach and make sure you pick up all your belongings before you leave and take them home.
"We retrieved the bag later and disposed of it safely."
Sally Butler, 58, has been part of the charity's rescue team for three years.
She said: "This video highlights the importance of ensuring people take their rubbish home with them.
"There were many pregnant females in that group, and when they get scared like that they are likely to abandon their pups or even abort them.
"There is a risk that new born pups, or even smaller adult seals could be crushed in the panic or abandoned.
"As well as bags blowing in the wind scaring seals, they can also get bag handles caught around their neck, causing a lot of pain and suffering.
"People should also keep their dogs on a lead and keep good distance away from these animals."
Just a week ago a seal pup was found abandoned by its mother on Waxham Beach after reports of beach visitors scaring its mother into the sea.
The pup was later found starving, trying to suckle on a rock.
It was monitored for 24 hours while volunteers were waiting for its mother to return - which she unfortunately did not.
The pup was then taken to East Winch RSPCA Wildlife Centre.
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