POLICE have said they have received reports of dogs attacking seal pups and children throwing stones at them.

A police spokesman said: "There have been a number of reports of seal pups on Cumbria's beaches this year. In the majority of cases the pups are just taking a rest and want to be left alone.

"It is essential that these mammals are not disturbed or distressed.

"If you come across a seal pup or any other marine mammal on any of our beaches please call the BDMLR (British Divers Marine Life Rescue) on 01825 765546, who will offer advice and if necessary allocate a trained Marine Medic to attend.

"The attending Medic will assess for injury and/or malnutrition and decide if any intervention is required. You can also visit their website bdmlr.org.uk for further information.

"Never try to return a seal or other marine mammal to the water.

"Please leave that to the experts. Seals have a nasty bite and can cause 'Seal Finger' which requires specific anti-biotics to treat.

"Also, you could cause the mammal more harm by damaging it's flippers, causing other injury and/or stress."