Scarborough Sealife Centre staff have issued an urgent appeal after a healthy seal pup was delivered to their door - in a taxi.
The anonymous beachcomber who delivered the grey seal wrapped in a coat could inadvertently have separated it from its mother, the sanctuary has warned.
“I was a bit stunned to be summoned to the car park to retrieve this pup from the back of a cab, and in my eagerness to get it wrapped in towels and safely indoors I didn’t have time to take any details of the lady’s name or number,” said the centre’s displays supervisor Lyndsey Crawford.
“She was clearly an animal lover and had the best of intentions, but we soon realised the pup was fit and healthy.
“Pups will quite often haul out on the shore while their mums are searching for food, but they are rarely left on their own for more than an hour or so.”
Lyndsey and a colleague immediately raced the pup back to the local beach where it was found, and are confident they were quick enough to ensure it was safely reunited with its mother.
They are now issuing an appeal for anyone who sees a lone pup on the shore to watch from a distance and to call either the sanctuary or the RSPCA if they become concerned.
“Apart from the danger of inadvertently scaring off mum if they get too close, these are wild animals with very sharp teeth. It’s a miracle this lady wasn’t badly bitten,” said Lyndsey.