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Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Seal Rehab
According to environmental conservation organisation Seal Rehab, the young animal had been washed ashore in a storm, landing on a beach near the village of Zarubino, in far eastern Russia's Primorsky Krai region.
Locals spotted the stranded seal and walked up to it, reportedly petting it for several hours as its mother swam nearby, waiting for a moment to approach her pup.
Eventually, local animal rights activists intervened and arrived to guard the baby seal, keeping people and dogs away while standing at a distance themselves so its mother could not smell them.
Seal Rehab said the mother stayed close 'for several hours' and came to shore twice to see her pup.
However, after giving her baby a sniff, she returned to the water - eventually abandoning the seal after completely disappearing as dusk fell.
The motherless pup was taken in by a rehabilitation centre, where vets named her Nelly.
However, despite efforts to save the seal, Nelly sadly died, with Seal Rescue blaming the stress of being around people who simply wanted 'likes on TikTok'.
An initial update from Seal Rescue seemed promising, saying: "We are very sorry that little Nelly lost her mother so early, but we will try to do everything so that she grows up and returns home to the sea."
Later, the organisation added: "Nelly didn't survive this night. The stress of being in close contact with people on the coast was too high. But people got a lot of likes on TikTok. Sorry for the sarcasm."
A post on Seal Rescue's Facebook page referred to the development as 'sad', saying workers decided to post the video online to help show others 'how you can't behave when you meet a seal'.
"Nelly did not survive the shock she received as a result of too active human attention on the shore," it said.
"She died tonight from the physiological consequences of stress.
"Wild animal cubs are very skittish. Adrenaline stress hormones and cortisol kill them."
One Facebooker commented: "Poor, poor girl, how sorry for her."
Someone else said: "This is very stupid and inhumane."
A third added: "How can you be so heartless and stupid!"