A charity says a bottle hit a seal on the back (Duncan Kenny)
A charity says a bottle hit a seal on the back (Duncan Kenny)

An angler threw a beer bottle at a seal because he thought it was going to take the fish from his line, a charity has said.

Images taken at the Hope’s Nose beauty spot near Torquay, Devon, on Sunday appear to show a man throwing a bottle at the animal.

The angler appears to hurl the projectile from a cliff towards the seal in the water below.

The photographs were taken by Duncan Kenny, who was collecting litter with members of the Seal Project conservation charity at the time.

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He said the angler threw a bottle because he believed the seal was going to take the fish he had caught on his line.

He said the seal was struck on the back by the beer bottle, then swam away.

“I think it was appalling,” he told Yahoo News UK.

“It’s really disappointing that humans have this disconnect from nature that makes them feel they can do things like this.”

Kenny said he and other volunteers spotted the man throwing the bottle at the seal.

“We were there to clear up the litter,” he said.

“We observed an angler who put down his rod, finished his beer bottle then threw it directly at the seal. It hit the seal’s back.”

An angler appears to throw a bottle, circled, at a seal (Duncan Kenny)
An angler appears to throw a bottle, circled, at a seal (Duncan Kenny)

Kenny said members of the charity approached the angler but he left the scene.

He said they try to talk to anglers in situations like these in a “calm and collective” manner to “minimise any conflict”.

Kenny said another seal got tangled in a fishing line on Sunday.

“If the seals are there, stop fishing for a while,” he said.

On its Facebook page on Sunday, the Seal Project wrote: “Today we litter picked at Hope’s Nose, Torquay.

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“Whilst there, we observed two wildlife entanglements (herring gull, grey seal), high levels of litter (including alcohol and food waste) and multiple fire sites.

“This was not the worse part though. We observed multiple examples of anti-social behaviour by anglers and campers.

“In one instance an angler intentionally threw a glass bottle directly at a grey seal.

“We have received numerous reports of this aggressive behaviour recently. Today’s incident is not an isolated case.

“Anglers, please be better at being humans, we share these habitats with many species. Give wildlife space. Be kind.”

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