A DEAD seal has been found washed up on a Shoebury beach, sparking an outpouring of sadness from residents.

Shoebury resident Katherine Downham made the sad discovery on Tuesday morning while walking on the seafront, near the Serendipity cafe.

The seal has been reported to Southend Council, however Veolia have been unable to remove it as the council believes the seal is on land owned by the Ministry of Defence.

Veolia teams attempted to locate the seal on Wednesday evening but were unable to find and remove its body.

Seals are regular visitors to the coastline of Southend and have regularly been spotted in the water surrounding Southend Pier.

Katherine said: “It is very sad. It was lying on the beach near the café.

“But it was very sad to see. They are one of my favourite animals as well. I just wonder what happened to the poor thing.

“Unfortunately, it is nature, but if humans did have something to do with its death, then that would really irritate me. Many people may find it really hard to see there.”

Multiple residents shared their shock and sadness on social media after the discovery Some stretches of the Southend and Shoebury coastline and foreshore are part of the Ministry of Defence estate.

As a result, Southend Council will either need permission from the Ministry of Defence to remove the seal, or it will need to be removed by the Ministry of Defence itself.

A spokesman for Southend Council said: “Veolia crews visited the beach yesterday, and they could not locate the seal.

“We think it is past the barriers in the MOD section and are unable to enter.

“Residents can report [dead animals] using MySouthend as guests so do not need an account. The reports made on the Southend portal are directly allocated to a crew, so it is the quickest way to ensure a fast resolution.”

A QinetiQ spokesman added: "We are aware that the remains of a mammal have washed up on the MOD foreshore and are in the process of reporting the incident through the correct channels and taking advice on an appropriate disposal.

"In the meantime, we would like to remind members of the public that access to the MOD foreshore is prohibited at all times."