Spotted a seal on the beach? Be wildlife aware

Posted on 05th October 2020 | in Community

Have you ever come across a young seal on the beach and wondered what to do? Here’s some advice from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue on how to enjoy wildlife safely

Photo of common seal by Lynne Howard -Young

• Try to avoid causing any disturbance by being quiet and keeping your distance
• Dispose of any litter you find to avoid causing injuries to wildlife
• If you are concerned about an animal, please report it to 01825 765546

About seals: We have two species of seals in the UK: Grey seals (born in the winter months), Common/Harbour seals (born in the summer months). Seal pups are only dependent on their mother for less than a month of their life. They are then left to fend for themselves and this is a vulnerable time for their survival. Seals spend a lot of time on beaches and come out to rest, digest their food, to shelter and to raise their pups. They return to the sea to travel and feed and do not need to be kept wet.

What to do if you find a seal pup: Keep your distance and keep dogs under control and on a lead. If a pup still has a fluffy white coat, it is still dependent on its mother. She will be close by, but will not return unless it is safe to do so.

DO NOT touch the pup. A mother may reject her pup if human or dog scents are present. Pups have very sharp teeth and can react aggressively if they feel threatened.

DO NOT approach the pup or try to put it in the sea. Never pour water over the pup: A pup will spend most of its early days out of the water conserving energy and doesn’t need to be kept wet.

Have a good look from a distance. If it appears thin, alone, is coughing and has a runny nose or injuries, it may need help. Please report it by calling 01825 765546.

Dead whales, dolphins or porpoises should be reported to the Cetatean Stranding Investigation Programme on 0800 625 0333.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue 01825 765546 www.bdmlr.org.uk

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