Pup season in full swing at Cornish Seal Sanctuary

January 14th, 2015

Between now and March is usually one of the busiest times of the year for the Animal Care Team at Cornwall’s Seal Sanctuary. Many of the seal pups born in the autumn are now getting more independent and venturing further afield, which combined with the stormy weather conditions this time of year can result in many pups needing a helping hand. For over 50 years the centre has been rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing seal pups from the 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.

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. However, it is estimated that close to half the world population could be found around the U.K. with a good proportion of those in Cornwall.

The Seal Sanctuary at Gweek is always a firm favourite with guests staying at The Valley’s 5 star cottages Cornwall, and getting to see the some pups up close at this time of year is a real treat.

Should you come across a seal pup at this time of the year whilst out and about on Cornwall’s coastline here is some advice from the Cornish Seal Sanctuary:

  • 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 pups finding their way around the coast in their first few weeks will sometimes come out to rest in public places, so try not to disturb them as they may be exhausted.
  • If you do find a pup that is injured or that you are otherwise concerned about then please call your local animal rescue service, RSPCA hospital or Sanctuary for help.