A new-born seal pup has been rescued by an animal charity after she was disturbed by people and dogs on a beach.
Less than a week old and still fully furred, the female grey seal pup was found lying on the shore of Tayport beach in Fife on Saturday. The pup started to attract attention from passers-by and concerns rose when dogs started to approach her.
Animal rescue officer Robyn Gray of the Scottish SPCA took the seal to the charity's National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross, Alloa where she is now being cared for. Staff there have named her Sponge.
Centre manager Colin Seddon said: "Sponge is the second white-coated seal pup we've rescued this year and we'll be expecting many more to come into our care over the winter months.
"Although she wasn't sick, she had to be rescued because the close presence of dogs and people was causing her distress, and it's likely that this would have prevented her mother from returning to the shore.
"She was proving very difficult to tube-feed, which is how we'd normally ensure our seal pups receive all the vital nutrients and calories they need in the early days. However, we tried her with a bottle and she seems to be accepting this happily. So, we'll continue bottle-feeding her until she's ready to move on to solids."
The Scottish SPCA is now urging the public to call its animal helpline this winter if they see a stranded seal pup by the shore and adds that people could do more harm than good if they were to approach it or pick it up.
"Our message to the public is: if you see a sick seal pup call our animal helpline for advice or assistance on 03000 999 999 before approaching it," he said.
Sponge will be cared for at the rescue centre until she is fully fit, able to feed herself and is at the right weight to be released back to the wild.