A SEAL pup which was washed ashore found its way back into the sea to the delight of local residents.
The pup was found alone on the beach at Hartlepool near the Steetley pier at around 6pm on Sunday.
Concerned residents alerted the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), a charity which deals with rescues of all kinds of marine life.
A regional representative of the charity went to the beach on Sunday evening and found the seal alive and well.
They attended again on Monday to find the seal had made its way back into the sea.
Andrew Dorrian, 20, who lives in Park Road, in Hartlepool, saw the seal on the beach on Sunday and took this photograph.
The electrician, who works for Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “I was walking the dogs on the beach when it caught my eye.
“It was alive and well but it did look like it had the smallest of peck marks on it.
“It must have been washed up on the beach just shortly before I saw it.”
Julia Cable, the administrator for BDMLR, said: “We were alerted about the seal on the beach and went along but it was absolutely fine.
“It was possibly ever so slightly underweight, but not enough for us to pick it up and treat it.
“They do lose a bit of weight when they start fending for themselves and we can’t possibly pick up every seal which looks a tiny bit underweight.
“We went back the next day and the seal had gone back into the sea so it was ok.”
● IF people find a stranded marine mammal they are asked to contact BDMLR at the first possible opportunity noting the place, the state of the tide and any injuries to the animal without getting too close.
Contact the charity during office hours on (01825) 765546.
After 5pm on weekdays, or at weekends or Bank Holidays call 07787433412.