DISTURBING video shows a seal pup battling for its life after it was attacked on a beach by an out-of-control dog.
The fiesty seal pup snaps back at the dog while struggling to get back into the sea and making good its escape.
It is thought the seal got away without serious injury but the clip has prompted renewed appeals to dog owners to behave responsibly.
The incident happened near Redcar, North Yorkshire, last week and the footage passed British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
The organisation then posted it to Facebook yesterday (mon) where it has been viewed more than 300,000 times.
They wrote in a caption above the post: “This video is a great example of what dog owners should not do when encountering a seal on a beach.
“The pup is clearly panicking and is trying to escape into the sea here while a dog is allowed by its owner to continue attacking it despite repeated pleas from the person filming it.
“We had one of our volunteer medics on the way already to check on the poor pup, but unfortunately it had gone back out to sea before they arrived just minutes later.”
The clip begins with the dog right up to the seal pup, barking at it and agitating it.
Off camera, someone can be heard saying: “Stop it.”
The pup desperately tries to escape the dog, panicking and trying to reach the water, as the dog barks and bites at the animal.
Again someone can be heard saying: “Stop it. Get here.”
The dog continues to bark and terrorise the pup, who tries to jab back at the dog with its mouth as it nears the sea.
As the sea comes into the shore, the dog keeps barking and attempting to bite the pup, which tries to get further into the sea away from the attack.
A woman with her dog on the lead can be seen filming the scene, as people call out to the dog.
The clip comes to an end as the dog continues to bark and jab repeatedly at the seal pup as it reaches water deep enough to swim to safety.
A spokesperson for British Divers Marine Life Rescue, who posted the video, said: “Seals need to be left alone and not disturbed by keeping well back from them, keeping dogs under control on a lead and calling for help on our hotline 01825 765546 if there in concern for the animal’s welfare.”
Facebook users were extremely critical of the owner of the dog.
Stuart Ward wrote: “Whoever owns that dog needs a punch in the throat.”
Kay Brown commented: “The owner of the dog needs prosecuting for endangerment to a defenceless animal.”
Maria Stanley said: “I want to punch and slap the owner of the dog. Not the dogs fault the owner.”
Amy Louise remarked: “Stupid dog owner, seriously what is wrong with people? If you can not control your dog keep it on the lead or don’t have a dog! Hope the seal was ok.”
Clare Oxenham added: “Always keep.your dog on a lead where wildlife is concerned.”