A Lossiemouth man found more than he expected while out for an evening stroll along the East Beach near his home town on Saturday evening.
Dug Coutts came upon what appeared to be an abandoned seal pup on the beach about a mile east of the town. The young seal demonstrated no obvious injures but appeared exhausted and alone.
Mr Coutts said: “I felt it needed looking at and tried to contact someone to speak to but could not make contact with anyone other than a Scottish SPCA rescue centre in Ayrshire when my sister acts as a volunteer.”
Unfortunately nobody could be contacted that was in a position to come out to check on the seal pup and Mr Coutts decided to leave it on the beach.
However, experts from British Divers Marine Life Rescue say that leaving the pup alone was very likely the best thing that could have been done, as it is likely the seal was simply resting after a storm in the area earlier in the evening.
A spokesman said: “After stormy weather or high tides it is usual for seals to come out onto beaches simply to rest and gather their strength.
“Where a seal pup is found between June and August that is less than three feet in length then it is probably still suckling from its mother who more often than not is not far away.
“Anyone finding a seal like this should if possible check the sea regularly for any sign of the adult seal.
“If, however, you believe the seal to be abandoned, thin or ill then you should contact the Scottish SCPCA on 03000 999 999 for advice or assistance.”
Martin Boon is a British Diver Marine Life Rescue officer, marine mammal medic and runs the Moray Sea Rescue unit at Hopeman. He said: “If anyone find a seal or any marine animal they can contact our head office on 01825 765546 any time, after hours they will be directed to our out of hours coordinator.”