Police are investigating after two motorcyclists were seen riding over a seal pup in Norfolk.
Officers are appealing for help after people reported seeing two individuals ride trial bikes over the animal at the beach in Sea Palling on Friday morning.
“It’s not clear whether the seal pup was alive at the time the bikes ran over the pup, but obviously this is a disturbing incident,” said PC Thomas Walsh, of Norfolk Constabulary.
“We have a duty of care to protect the wildlife on our coasts and we are keen for people to come forward to give us more information.
“We always urge people to act responsibly and ensure the seal population is not disturbed and we will act against those who wilfully harm our wildlife.”
The force is appealing for information and witnesses after the incident on Beach Road.
Norfolk’s beaches are among the UK’s key sites for seals, with thousands of grey seals born there each year.
The first of this year’s cohort of pups arrived in Horsey in the final days of October, heralding the start of a pupping season which typically runs until late January.
“It is a particularly worrying incident at a time when hundreds of grey seals are giving birth and are particularly vulnerable situation on the beach,” Peter Ansell, chairman of the Friends of Horsey Seals charity, told North Norfolk News.
“The fact that these two bikers rode over this pup more than once is particularly callous and nasty. We only hope someone will come forward and identify them and prevent anything similar from happening again.”
A post-mortem examination would be carried out on the seal to try and establish the cause of its death, the charity said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Walsh on 101 quoting reference 495 of December 3. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555111.