AN injured seal pup which washed up on a Dorset beach has sadly died.

A grey seal pup with serious injuries washed up on Chesil Beach on Sunday.

A concerned member of the public called the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, before Derek Davey, a local wildlife expert, temporarily took care of the seal.

Mr Davey said: “Its flipper was infected, it wasn’t a deep wound, so it could be repaired quite easily.

“But there were several puncture wounds on its body.”

The seal was reported to the RSPCA on Sunday morning on the beach at West Bexington, but before the RSPCA arrived the pup was forced back into the water by people taking photos and crowding around it.

Mr Davey has criticised the onlookers who took pictures and scared the seal pup.

He said: “Taking photographs and crowding around it made it go back into the water to get away. Luckily it later came ashore again, but it would have died if it stayed in the water.

“If you do see a seal pup washed-up on the beach, call the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, the RSPCA or another local wildlife group.

“Approach it from a distance, don’t force it back into the water and be careful because they can bite.”

The seal then came ashore before being taken to RSPCA West Hatch for treatment.

The RSPCA has since confirmed that it has died.

A spokesman for the charity said: “Sadly the seal rescued from Chesil beach was in an emaciated condition, and had a long linear wound around one flipper, right the way down to the knuckle bones.

“The wildlife vet cleaned the wound out but the infection was already in the bone and so the decision was made to put the seal to sleep based on the extent of this injury and the impact it would have on the future of the seal.

“The vet said the wound was narrow, and deep, and although they did not find anything within the wound which could have caused it, it is thought something like fishing line/filament had been wrapped around it.”

RSPCA West Hatch has cared for 40 seals since the beginning of autumn.

If you see a pup whose mother hasn’t returned within 24 hours, is on a busy public beach, or if you think the seal may be sick or injured, please call the RSPCA’s 24-hour advice and cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.