An animal lover has slammed Scotland’s leading animal welfare charity over the death of a seal pup on Leven beach.
Distraught Jillian Connelly claimed the young mammal had died because of the Scottish SPCA’s “neglect and uncaring attitude”.
Ms Connelly said the upsetting incident started last Thursday when she first came across the seal pup when she was out walking her dog on the Lundin Links-Leven beach.
“It was swimming along the tide line and coming ashore,” she said. “It looked exhausted and distressed.”
Returning to the beach the following day, she again saw the seal and heard from “numerous” walkers that a lot of people had called the Scottish SPCA because the pup had been there the previous two days.
She claimed that, after calling the charity on Friday, she was told an officer had been out that morning.
However, the pup was later found dead.
“As the Scottish SPCA knew about the seal and there wasn’t much else I could do, we left the seal on Friday afternoon lying on the shore,” Ms Connelly said.
“I feel the Scottish SPCA should have done more.
“I feel this animal was distressed and neglected by the Scottish SPCA. I could tell by looking at the seal when it was alive the poor thing was distressed and exhausted.”
However, the charity said it had responded to calls from the public and when an officer had investigated, they found a healthy seal.
Chief inspector John Chisholm said: “We are saddened to hear a seal has been found dead on Saturday and wish to stress that we will always help where possible if a seal is sick, injured or distressed.”
Every year the Scottish SPCA rescues, rehabilitates and releases a large number of seals. Last year the charity rescued a record number of 127.
Mr Chisholm said: “On Friday, one of our animal rescue officers attended Leven beach following calls about a seal pup. Along with one of the callers, our officer walked the length of the beach searching for the seal for around an hour but it was nowhere to be seen.
“Our officer did, however, find several track marks where the seal had been moving across the sand, indicating it was fit enough to move a considerable distance and enter the water.
“It was believed these sightings may have related to previous calls we had received about a seal on the beach on Thursday, where another officer attended and found a healthy seal.”