Users of a north-east beach were given a shock yesterday as a baby seal decided to visit the shore.
The pup hauled itself onto Collieston beach first thing in the morning and stayed there for almost the whole day.
Local residents, including a trained marine mammal medic, marked off an area to keep people and dogs away from the seal so that it was not disturbed.
Despite hopes that the animal would return to the water itself, it did not and instead moved further up the beach.
Beach-goers were unable to access the sea for the first four hours of the day, but were eventually allowed to after about four hours.
They accessed the sea from half the beach and the pier in a bid to not cause too much of a disturbance for the pup.
In the evening the local British Divers Marine Life Rescue Co-ordinator arrived on scene and assessed the seal.
They decided to uplift her and she was taken by a trained marine mammal medic to be transferred to the seal rehabilitation centre.
She will be fully assessed there, treated, fed and released when she is able to fend for herself.
The Aberdeenshire Council Ranger service thanked the public for their support on the day and for their co-operation.
A statement posted on their social media read: “So, if you were on Collieston beach yesterday and waited patiently for hours to get in the sea then thank you so much.
“It is quite normal for seals and pups to haul up on beaches (but not normally ones as busy as Collieston).
“Pups will be left by their mum while she goes out and feeds. She usually returns. If you see a pup on a beach please don’t approach it.
“Try to assess if it has an injury, entanglement, or looks underweight, but from a safe distance. If it does then phone the BDMLR or SSPCA for advice, and take photos if you can without getting too close.
“If it doesn’t then leave it alone and try and keep others away, especially dogs. If mum comes back and smells humans on her pup then she will abandon it.”
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