Sickening footage of yobs throwing rocks at fleeing seals has been shared on Facebook.
The video was taken at St Mary's Island Nature Reserve, near Whitley Bay, capturing the cruel youths running at a seal while hurling rocks at it, while filming their antics on a mobile phone.
The seal becomes distressed and then decides to escape by plunging from higher rocks onto the rocky shore to get back into the water.
Not content, the yobs then target other seals, who try to scramble away from the danger.
Before all of this, the disrespectful trio can be seen moving a sign at the island.
A statement on the St Mary's Seal Watch Facebook page says: 'This malicious act was carried out on St Mary's Island Nature Reserve and seen from the mainland on Saturday, June 9, at around 9pm. We have had other visitors saying they have witnessed the same thing over this season.
'This footage is not to name and shame the individuals but to highlight some of the problems the wildlife faces on the reserve and the stark contrast between the recent Springwatch clip of the island in all its majestic glory and the reality for most of the wildlife here which is subjected to repeated disturbance rarely finding the tranquility shown in the beautiful Springwatch footage.
'The behaviour in this clip is abhorrent, however the most prolific disturbance source to all the wildlife is those carrying out recreational activities on the wildlife sensitive areas of the island.
'Without protection St Mary’s Island Nature Reserve is no haven for the wildlife but a place where visitor pressure prevents any chance of the wildlife thriving.
'We know that many visitors show respect and consideration when visiting this wildlife sensitive site and will themselves have seen too often the acts of a few spoil it not just for the animals but for all those responsible visitors as well.
'So, what can you do; If you see people ignoring council signs requesting visitors avoid the wildlife sensitive areas - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUZlQWd1R48&feature=youtu.be - report it to staff in the Lighthouse. If the Lighthouse is not open email email@example.com
'If you see any activity of intentional harassment call 101 and report it.
'If in doubt as to what you should do please contact St Mary’s Seal Watch for advice.
'If you believe more should be done to preserve the Nature Reserve and protect our local wildlife by those in authority, please write to a North Tyneside Councillor or local MP.'