Donna Nook tidal surge seal run over and killed
A grey seal at one of the largest reserves in the UK has been run over and killed after being displaced by a tidal surge.
Hundreds of seals were moved after coastal flooding hit the Donna Nook reserve earlier this month.
Staff had opened gates and cut holes in a fence along a viewing area to allow the seals to escape the surge of water.
The dead seal is believed to have become disorientated and failed to find its way back.
The accident happened on Tuesday evening on Marsh Lane - a minor road leading to the reserve.
- Grey seals are Britain's largest living carnivore
- Britain has 36% of the world population of grey seals around its shores
- About 3,000 live around the Lincolnshire coast
Rachel Shaw, of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, said because of the damage to the fence the seals had managed to go much further inland than they normally would.
Three other seals were also found stuck in a ditch about three miles away, she said.
It was the first time she had ever heard of a seal from Donna Nook being involved in an accident with a car.
In 2011, about 75 pups died after a series of high tides hit the colony, but they perished as a result of being separated from their mothers.
For most of the year, grey seals at Donna Nook are at sea or on distant sandbanks.
In November and December, up to 60,000 visitors come to see the pups along the six-mile stretch of beach - based on an active Royal Air Force weapons range.
However, because of the damage caused by the tidal surge the reserve has been closed for the rest of the season.