Cornish Seal Sanctuary takes in a rare seal pup amongst the battle to continue its rehabilitation work

The Animal Care Team at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary were treated last week to a very rare sight when admitting the latest patient into their Seal Hospital.

A female grey seal pup was found malnourished and with a suspected respiratory infection with a very unusual coat!
Egg The chances are 1 in 400 seal pups could be born with melanism - increased development of the dark-coloured pigment melanin in the skin or hair. And the fact she is a female makes it that much rarer, as they are naturally lighter in colour than male seals.

This seal pup, now named Egg, is recovering well at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary´s hospital and slowly gaining weight.
Despite going through three lockdowns and various restrictions, the pup rescue and rehabilitation work at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary has carried on as normal, battling against devastating financial losses.

The Sanctuary have continued their vital conservation work in order to support seal pups from around the Cornish coastline.
Seal Hospital This season so far, the Sanctuary have had 36 casualties of the sea go through their seal rehabilitation programme, with 16 of these pups now successfully released back into the wild after receiving expert care and treatment from the Sanctuary´s animal care team.
Each season is different, but the level of care that goes into seal rehabilitation remains the same and here are a few of the statistics from the season so far:-

Youngest pup - 2 days old
Males - 16 : females - 20
Number of pups - 36
Number released - 16
Total No. of hours spent rehabbing pups this season = 4,300 hours
Total No. of weighing sessions = 561 sessions
Amount of fish used (mackerel, herring) = over 6 tonnes (£8,000)
Seal pups
Grey Seal Pups The main seal species the Sanctuary rescue and rehabilitate is the Grey seal, with the UK being home to 38% of the world´s population and are listed on the IUCN Red List as an endangered species, which is why the pup rehabilitation work that takes place at the Sanctuary is so vital.
Despite the lockdown, according to the British Divers Marine Life Rescue call out data, the amount of call outs from members of the public coming across a seal pup on the beach in 2020 was on par with the same amount in 2019.

This means that despite the lockdown and lack of tourism in Cornwall, locals using the beaches and coastal paths for daily exercise much more due to closed facilities are thankfully keeping an eye out for seals in need of help.
Seal Colony
Dog chases seal into the seal British Divers Marine Life Rescue believe much of the increase in callouts they have had in recent years is due to human pressures - climate change causing more frequent storms in autumn and winter; human disturbance weakening resting seals who are chased into the sea or attacked by dogs; and pollution issues.
Only 25% of these call outs required the pup needing to be uplifted from the beach, meaning that in 75% of cases, a pup may simply need assessing, relocating or monitoring rather than being rescued which is always the last case scenario as it is always best for a pup to be able to thrive in the wild.

For those pups that do require help getting back on their flippers, the Sanctuary is here to provide medical care from their team of marine experts.
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary It costs the Sanctuary £2,000 on average per pup to get them back to full health and to be released back to the sea.

In 2020 the Sanctuary lost over £700,000 and are facing financial losses now in 2021 going through their third closure whilst still looking after resident animals that they provide permanent homes to as well as rehabilitating seal pups that need their care.
If you would like to support the work at the Sanctuary, specifically give towards the pup rehabilitation programme, please visit:-
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Press Release issued by the Cornish Seal Sanctuary
For more details, please contact Georgina Shannon on 01326 221 361
Issue Date: 1st February 2021