A seriously ill seal pup has died days after being harassed back into the sea by beach-goers.
RSPCA officials had been called to the scene to help the sick animal, however by the time they arrived it had been scared into the water.
The seal pup was found two days later but had to be put down the following day.
Marine animal rescue charities are now warning people to stay away from seals which they find on beaches.
Veterinary support coordinator for British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), Natalie Waddington, said they knew something was wrong when they arrived at the beach near Lands End in Cornwall.
She said: She was draped over the rocks as if she had just been washed up and left behind rather than hauling up there by herself.
Her mouth was bloody and badly infected and there were two deep injuries to the right side of her head, one of them into her eye socket, that were also infected and swollen.
Rescuers took her to the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, but despite treating her overnight, she had to be put to sleep the following day.
The charity says people should not touch or move the animals because they could be weak, ill or injured.
Dan Jarvis, BDMLRs welfare development and field support officer, said: If she had been rescued a couple of days earlier when she was first reported, she would have had a much better chance of survival.
Instead, she was forced to starve and suffer because of human actions, no matter how well-intentioned they may have thought they were.
There has been an increase in cases of seals being harassed into the sea -either intentionally or unintentionally – in the last few years, the charity said.
It says seals often also rest on beaches while digesting food, while pups sometimes sleep on the sand before going back into the sea.
Dan added: In the last few years there has been in increasing number of incidents not just in Cornwall but in many parts of the country where hauled out seals have been chased or harassed into the sea as well as being attacked by dogs – both intentionally and unintentionally.
The story of this seal, the traumatic final days she was forced to endure and the sad circumstances that led to her death I feel strongly should not be left untold.
I would urge beach users to please join the call to help spread the advice we provide as much as they can, so that we can at least try to find something good that can come of this awful incident and give this pups life and death some meaning.