Grey Seals (Halichoerus grypus)
are found on both sides of the North Atlantic, also on the West Coast off Canada, on the East Side of Iceland, the Faeroes, Northern Norway, North East Russia, in the Baltic Sea and off the British Isles. The British population - two thirds of the world´s population - is found principally off the Scottish Islands, Cornwall and the Scillies, the Pembrokeshire Islands, the Farne islands and the North and West coasts of Ireland. Favoured haul out sites include inaccessible islands, coves and caves.
Grey seal adults may be up to 2.5 metres in length and weigh up to 250kgs, with males tending to be larger than females. The coat colour is variable shades of grey, brown and silver with the back tending to be darker than the underside.
Males tend to be darker than females and also have a noticeably arched "Roman" nose, whereas a female´s nose has a straighter outline.
Male grey seals reach sexual maturity at 6 years, Females at 3 to 5 years. The latter give birth to their pups in the autumn and early winter. The first British pups are born off the Scillies and Cornwall in August and September and the time of pupping is progressively later as you move clockwise around the British Isles, the latest pups being born off the east coast of Scotland and the Farne Islands in late December.
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary´s handsome Resident Male Grey Seals are:-