A BABY seal was found 25ft up a promenade slope after being washed ashore in rough seas.
Dog walker Michael Gant, 51, discovered the pup on the slopes leading up from the rocks to the promenade near the Town Moor, on Hartlepool’s Headland yesterday morning.
Michael, who was out walking his Golden Labrador Jazz at the time, said the mammal seemed injured, with its left flipper looking red.
He left the seal where it was and contacted the British Divers Marine Life Rescue team to retrieve it.
The dad-of-two, who owns Rainbow Photography, said: “I found it about 9am yesterday and apparently it had been there all night.
“The prom there is quite high.
“It would be highly unlikely for it to have come up the prom, it’s more likely that it was washed over the top, because the sea was coming right over the top on Thursday night.”
Michael said the seal didn’t appear distressed, but it wouldn’t let anyone near it.
He initially contacted Scarborough Sea Life Centre, who said they were looking into the matter.
Dad-of-two Michael, who is married to Brenda and lives on the Headland, said he was worried the seal would fall over the top of the ramp.
He added: “I have never seen them on the prom before.
“I have been walking there for 40-odd years and have only seen them on the beach.
“It must have been 25ft up.”
Michael then contacted the British Divers team, who sent volunteer marine mammal medic David Wilson from Middlesbrough to retrieve it.
But the seal managed to evade David’s clutches, and preferred to return to the sea below, rather than be placed inside a rescue kennel.
Julia Cable, rescue co-ordinator with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue team, said: “The seal took one look at our volunteer and the kennel and shot off back to the sea.
“He didn’t even get a chance to get near it.
“The marks on its flippers are just abrasions from where it has hauled itself out onto the concrete.
“We are not worried about the seal.
“It was just a young grey seal, they are hauling out of the sea quite regularly at the moment because of the conditions out at sea being quite rough.
“The seals are quite tired, as it’s a bit tough out there at the moment, so they are coming ashore to have a rest. But we hope conditions are starting to improve, and hopefully things will calm down.”
Julia added that the seal “probably got thrown up onto the ramp by a nice, big strong wave” and that seals can move quite well and are quite strong.
It comes just days after a porpoise carcass was discovered washed up by walkers on the beach at Seaton Carew.