An injured seal pup may have survived if it had not been thrown back into the sea, the Scottish SPCA has said.
The animal charity was called out to Roseisle, near Elgin, in Moray.
However, a member of the public admitted picking up the seal up and throwing it back into the sea. A seal with the same injuries was later found at Portgordon but could not be saved.
The Scottish SPCA said if they had been able to collect it when first spotted it might have survived.
Animal rescue officer Lynn Cruickshank said: “I attended and collected the pup who had a gash at one side of his eye and a large lump, which I suspected was an abscess, on his neck.
“I took him to our National Wildlife Centre to be checked over but sadly the seal died from his injuries.
“Had this seal been left alone to be assessed by our team when he was first spotted it’s possible he would have survived.
“Sadly, this seal has gone on to suffer with his injuries for a further week which could have been avoided.”
The charity said that approaching a seal is also potentially dangerous.
Ms Cruickshank added: “Seals are wild animals and can inflict a nasty bite when scared or in pain. Even young seals have the potential to cause injury.
“Never touch a seal or attempt to carry or chase them back into the sea.
“Seals often haul out on land to rest and usually this is nothing to worry about.
“However, if a seal is injured or sick they could be out of the water for good reason. Forcing them back into the water is likely to cause only cause further stress for the animal.”