With preparations for the Cornish Seal Sanctuary’s annual pup rescue season underway, the centre is asking the public to go on seal spotting red alert.
Early reports suggest that Cornwall’s native grey seals have already been sighted on their breeding beaches, with the birth of seal pups expected during mid-to-late September.
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary works to protect Cornwall’s seal population, with over 50 rescued seal pups receiving treatment by the Sanctuary every year.
“Our mission at the Sanctuary is to rescue, rehabilitate and hopefully release seals which would otherwise die without our help. We never take a seal from its natural environment unless it’s essential for its survival,” explained Tamara Cooper, Animal Care Supervisor at the Sanctuary.
Now in its 55th year of seal rescue, the Sanctuary is issuing a ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ guide to all seal spotters on the run up to breeding season.
“It’s always important for seal spotters who have identified a pup in distress to keep their distance.”
“If the pup has a white coat it still needs its mother, who could be watching her pup from the water. As a wild animal, seals may bite or carry infectious diseases too, so not handling it is crucial. A pup should never be put back in the sea; it may be out of the water for a good reason. Although we advise the public to avoid physical contact with a potentially poorly seal, we urge them not to ignore the situation. If the pup is thin, injured or seems unwell, it may need expert help.”
The Sanctuary Animal Care Team is on call to take SOS calls from the public 24/7. If anyone spots a seal they can notify the Sanctuary on 01326 221 361.
For more information please telephone 01326 221 361.