A baby seal is believed to have died after hours of stress while being squeezed and photographed by a group of people who gathered around it as it washed ashore.
The tiny animal, nicknamed Nelly by animal lovers, was petted by onlookers who spotted it when it washed ashore.
Despite their fearful crying, residents of Zarubino in eastern Russia took photos and petted them as their mother swam nearby, waiting for the opportunity to retrieve them.
Animal rights activists managed to clear the crowd and protect the puppy from dogs and people in order to reunite them with their mother.
Tragically, however, the mother approached and sniffed her baby, but returned to the water alone, leaving Nelly on the bank.
When it got dark, the mother left the puppy and swam away.
The baby seal was taken to a rehabilitation center in a state of severe shock after the human attention it received.
Vets gave her medical help but failed to save Nelly’s life, officials confirmed.
Experts believe that she died as a result of the stress she was exposed to from the crowd.
Baby seals are susceptible to hormones caused by stress, veterinarians said, which led to Nelly’s tragic death.
In a statement, the veterinary center where she was treated said: ” Nelly died from the physiological effects of stress.
“The baby seals are very anxious. The hormones stress, adrenaline and cortisol kill them.”
After the incident, veterinarians warned people not to turn to wild animals and instead call specialists.