People feeding swans on a popular North Yorkshire beach could “kill them with kindness”, the RSPCA has warned.
The young swans have become a regular sight on Whitby beach, but the charity said people feeding them will stop them finding a more suitable home.
Meanwhile, the beach attracts many dog walkers and one swan has already been attacked by a dog, the RSPCA added.
“Whitby beach is lovely, but it’s the wrong place for these vulnerable swans,” the RSPCA’s Claire Little said.
“It is lovely that people are taking such an interest in these beautiful birds and trying to give them food – but they are at real risk of not learning how to cope by themselves,” she said.
“We’re very concerned for these swans, who are currently in danger of potentially being killed with kindness.
“We are urging the public not to feed or interact with these wild animals as they are losing their natural wariness of humans.”
Ms Little said if the swans move on, they can relearn their natural behaviour and find their own food.
“Bread is not appropriate food for swans. Instead, they should be foraging in lakes and streams for aquatic vegetation, molluscs and small fish, frogs and worms,” she said.