A dog was seen trying to bite Weymouth’s resident seal as it rested on the shore, despite repeated warnings for people to keep a safe distance.

A seal has been visiting Bowleaze Cove and Greenhill over recent weeks, where it has been attracting attention from residents and visitors alike.

However, despite warnings for people to stay away from the seal, it was almost bitten by a dog that was not on a lead on Tuesday evening.

Weymouth resident Edmund Mackrill, 71, was riding his bicycle past at the time when he noticed a crowd at Bowleaze Cove.

“As I was cycling past I noticed quite a few people, families, children sitting on the shingle obviously looking at something,” he said. “I stopped because I guessed the seal was there and I wanted some photos.

“However, before I could get my camera out an out of control dog saw the seal lying on the shingle and immediately went for it barking and trying to bite it.

"The seal reacted very fast and escaped into the water. The dog’s owner obviously didn’t know what to do and the dog paid no attention when she tried to call it back.

"Once the seal was out in the sea the owner did manage to grab her dog and put it on the lead it should have been on in the first place.”

A spokesman for Weymouth and Portland Police said: “We have had reports of dogs being aggressive towards the seal at Bowleaze Cove.

"Please take care when walking your dogs in the area and we would suggest putting your dog on a lead should the seal be present. We have also had reports of the seal joining swimmers in the sea. Again we would suggest swimming in areas away from the seal for your safety.”

As previously reported, a child was bitten by the seal recently despite repeated warnings for people to keep a safe distance.

Sally Welbourn from Dorset Wildlife Trust said: “People should stay a safe distance away from any marine mammals, whether that’s in the sea or on land.

"Seals are extremely vulnerable to human disturbance, especially when on beaches. They are there because they need periods of rest to digest their food, something which can’t be done whilst actively foraging at sea.

"Please follow the code of conduct on the Dorset Wildlife Trust website at www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/seals and always keep dogs on leads if you are near a seal on the beach.”