Fresh advice has been issued by Blue Reef Tynemouth after hearing about some good Samaritans recently trying to help a seal that was resting on South Shields beach.
Its experts warn that returning seals to the sea can be dangerous to their health and trying to do this puts humans at risk of a bite from the seal.
Seals spend a lot of their time on the beach, where they rest. This is natural behaviour, so keep your distance and keep pets away.
But if the seal has obvious injuries or has been in the same place for more than 12 hours, call Blue Reef Aquarium on 0191 2581031 or British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) on 01825 765546.
Seals are taken by the BDMLR to Blue Reef’s Marine Rescue Centre for rehabilitation, before being released back into the wild. One such example is Barry, pictured above after treatment.