Cornwall LivingAutumn 2018
To the rescue
As the grey seal pup season has begun, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary’s Animal Care Team give their top tips on what to do if you come across a seal pup on the beach.
Firstly, keep your distance. If a pup has a fluffy white coat, it still needs its mother. She will have spotted you long before you saw her and she will hopefully be watching from a safe distance out at sea. A mum will only return to feed her pup if she thinks it’s safe to do so.
“the best thing you can do is call the Cornish Seal Sanctuary for the team’s expert advice”
Secondly, don’t touch the pup. Seals are wild animals with sharp teeth and a mother may reject her pup if it smells of people, so keep downwind and out of sight. You also shouldn’t put any seal back in the sea. A white-coated pup spends most of its time out of the water. All seals go onto land to rest, digest and socialise all year round, so if you come across one on land, it’s best to leave it alone.
While in most cases you shouldn’t need to interact with the pup, it can pay to keep an eye on it from a distance, looking to see if it’s thin, injured or seems unwell.
Noisy breathing, coughing and a runny nose could indicate that it is in need of help. If so, the best thing you can do is call the Cornish Seal Sanctuary for the team’s expert advice. Alternatively, contact British Divers Marine Life Rescue on 01825 765546 and give them your location.
This autumn, to get up close and personal to seal pups and learn more about them, why not join the Cornish Seal Sanctuary for ‘Puptober’ half-term and become a Rescue Ranger? Take part in Rescue Rangers SOS training, learn the rescue-to-release story, take a Pup Rescue Adventure Trail, get stuck in with ocean crafts and earn an exclusive ‘Puptober’ pop badge!
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As a charity, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary would not be able to do its vital work without the support of guests, so why not help support the rescue of seals in need, along with the care of resident animals by paying the Gweek sanctuary a visit?
"the best thing you can do is call the Cornish Seal Sanctuary for the team’s expert advice"