A RUNNER has caused outrage by an apparent disregard for the plight of a group of nesting seals on the North Yorkshire coast.

The Yorkshire Seal Group is a team of passionate volunteers committed to helping protect and preserve the iconic Grey and Common Seal populations. Whilst monitoring the welfare of a large group of nesting seals near Robin Hood’s Bay, a male runner was seen to disturb the sensitive site and is alleged to have abused the seal stewards after an attempt to dissuade him from approaching the nesting animals.

A video taken by the group shows the runner approach the seals causing a severe stampede of more than 100 resting seals, some of whom were pups and still maternally dependent.

Sharing the information on Facebook, a group spokesman said: “Whilst the majority of Yorkshire coast residents and visitors are polite and supportive of our work, our seal stewards unfortunately still deal with an ignorant and abusive minority who disrespect our shores and iconic wildlife.

“This level of disregard and lack of ocean literacy undoubtedly caused numerous injuries to the fleeing seals and may take the life of some of our pups who have suffered horrendous mortality rates following Storm Arwen already.

“All the seals impacted by this disturbance event would have, at the very least, depleted their energy reserves escaping the threat, and did not return by the end of the day including mothers that were weaning pups."

The incident took place on Thursday, January 6 at 10.50am. Following the disturbance, the runner was last seen on the beach moving towards Boggle Hole and Robin Hood's Bay. The video was shown on the BBC news and caused outrage on many social media platforms.