If you discover a Seal Pup in the Wild

In late August / beginning of September - it´s time for grey seals to begin their breeding and pupping season - which for the Cornish Seal Sanctuary signals the busiest time of the year for the Animal Care Team.

For over 60 years the Sanctuary have been rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing those pups from our local coastline that find themselves in trouble, whether it be eye problems, respiratory infections and malnourishment to broken bones, pollution-related problems and being separated from their mother too soon.
Seal PupSeals in the wild
The team here provides round-the-clock care throughout the "pup rescue season" (usually September - March) to get them back to full health so they can go back out into the wild where they should be.

Grey seals are amongst the rarer of the world´s seal species, with approximately 350,000 spread out across the North Atlantic, North Sea and into the Baltic Sea.
Seal PupSeals in the wild
However, it is estimated that close to half the world population could be found around the UK!

As we are home to such a significant habitat and ecosystem that the grey seals find here, it seems logical that this country should try to do more to lead the way in terms of their conservation.
BellaSolitaire - Photo by Mike Taylor of BDMLR
So what can you do to help?

There are a few local, national and international organisations that you can join to help campaign, sign petitions and spread the word, but for us at this time of the year there is some advice we do like to spread when it comes to seals pups.
SealsPup on beach
Mums usually give birth on secluded beaches or in caves, but if you do come across a "whitecoat" pup on a beach then please keep your distance! Nearby humans and dogs will easily scare the mother away, abandoning the pup before it can fend for itself.
Mums come back to feed their pup every 4 - 6 hours and may not always be obvious so, as above, don´t approach and encourage others to do the same. If the mum doesn´t think it´s safe to return then she probably won´t come back.
Seal PupSeals in the wild
If you discover a seal pup that is in distress or alone, please call the Cornish Seal Sanctuary on 01326 221361 and/or the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) team on 01825 765546.

DO keep your distance;
DON´T attempt to handle or touch the pup;
DON´T attempt to put the pup back in the sea;
DON´T ignore the situation;
DO tell the appropriate organisation.

When you ring an appropriate organisation, please be prepared to give an exact location of the seal, your contact details, what condition is the seal in for example is it alone, thin, injured or seems unwell (noisy breathing, coughing, runny nose). Tell people around you to keep clear of the seal by at least 50 metres, if you can, draw a circle in the sand around the pup.

Remember most often seals come out of the water on to land to rest, digest after eating their food, relax and sleep.
Bella being checked by the Animal Care TeamCheck pup on beach
If you have seen a seal disturbed in to the sea as a result of human activity or a dead seal, please call the Cornwall Wildlife Trust´s marine hotline : 0345 201 26 26.