Cornwall LivingIssue #71
Rescue and rehabilitation
After another busy season looking after poorly seal pups, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary offers advice on what to do if you come across one.
Seals, including pups, will haul out onto the beach for periods of time to rest and sleep, making it quite normal behaviour, however sometimes they do need our help. So what should you do if you see a seal or seal pup and you’re concerned? Here are some handy guidelines to follow when you’re out and about on the coast.
“The team currently has lots of pups recovering at the sanctuary, which makes it the perfect time for a visit to see these gorgeous animals up close.”
Keep your distance
If a pup has a fluffy white coat, it still needs its mother. She has probably spotted you and will be watching from a safe distance out at sea. She will only return to feed her pup when she thinks it’s safe to do so, so watch from a distance and ask others in the area to keep well away. Mums leave pups when they have their grey coats, so don’t be alarmed if a pup of this age is alone. Dogs can stress pups out, so ensure pets are kept on leads around seals and other wildlife.
Don’t attempt to handle the pup
This is really important. Seals are wild animals and are likely to bite. If the pup is handled whilst still being nursed by its mother, the scent you leave may cause her to reject it.
Don’t attempt to put the pup in the sea
It may need to rest or may not be able to swim. Always leave the animal where it is.
Don’t ignore the situation
If you spot a pup that’s thin, injured or seems unwell – with symptoms like noisy breathing, coughing or a runny nose – it probably needs help. In such a case, please call the Cornish Seal Sanctuary team, who will arrange the appropriate help.
Rescued pups remain with the animal care team until they have completed the rehabilitation process and are ready for release. The team currently has lots of pups recovering at the sanctuary, which makes it the perfect time for a visit to see these gorgeous animals up close. The sanctuary is also home to common seals, California sea lions, southern sea lions, humboldt penguins, Asian short-clawed otters and paddock animals, making it a great day out for the whole family!
"The team currently has lots of pups recovering at the sanctuary, which makes it the perfect time for a visit to see these gorgeous animals up close."