Thousands of toxic starfish that can be harmful for dogs have been washing up on a Welsh beach ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend.
The predicted warm weather is expected to bring many sun-seekers to the coast but dog-owners have been warned to be on their guard for the sea creatures.
The starfish are thought to have come ashore at Colwyn Bay in North Wales due to the recent bad weather and while attractive to look at, they can be toxic to dogs.
A walker spotted the starfish on a stretch of shore between Porth Eirias in Colwyn Bay and the Rainbow Bridge in Llanddulas.
They said: “On Tuesday I became concerned as there were hundreds of Starfish washed up on the beach, between Rainbow Bridge and Porth Eirias.
“I took a few pictures of what I can only describe as a ‘starfish apocalypse’. “
He added: “Starfish may be of concern as they can be toxic to dogs and there are many dog walkers in Colwyn Bay that may need to be made aware.”
The starfish are up to eight inches long and most of those washed up are dead or dying.
A spokesman at Anglesey Sea Zoo said the recent bad weather may be responsible for the phenomenon.
She said: “Starfish live on rocky reefs. Really strong currents and choppy waters will dislodge them and the tide will carry them in.”
Starfish are toxic and can be lethal for dogs as they contain paralytic shellfish poison – a marine biotoxin.
In March, thousands of starfish also washed up along the Merseyside coastline and one woman posted a Facebook message to warn dog owners.
Nina Grant said: “Just a warning re the starfish that are washed up near the Gunsite.
“They’re toxic to dogs. I had no idea and my springer is now at the vets very ill after eating one. Please share with any dog owners that you know.”