Wednesday, 23 November 2016

We had a phone call from a local today, who had come across a seal pup in the grass right near the coast path at Burnmouth Harbour, at the bottom of the Wuddy slope this morning. After the weather we have had the last few day, he was, understandably, concerned about its welfare. Myself and Ed went out to check on it - it was very alert to our presence, it looked quite fat, and had no signs of injury or disease. So we have left it be, and will keep a bit of an eye on it to ...see how thing pan out over the next few days. If it doesn't move on and starts to lose weight, then we will intervene.

Seal pups have cute faces, big, puppy-dog eyes and when they cry they sound like a human baby, so the temptation is to want to rescue them. However, lying about on beaches is what seal pups do. In the first three weeks of their life, when they are being fed by their mother, they do little else by lie about a feed. And then after that, when their mother leaves them to their own devices they then moult their white, fluffy coat (as the one is the pitcure is doing) and learn how to catch food. All quite exhausting, and somewaht bamboozling no doubt, and so no surprise that it involves quite a lot of lying about on beaches too! So, if you come across a seal pup - give it a wide berth so as not to stress it out (or ending up with you getting bitten), have a good look to see if it is looking skinny, if it has any injuries (they can get knocked about a bit in stormy seas), or any substance oozing out of its eyes or nose (which might indicate disease). If any of the above, call the SSPCA on 03000 999 999. If none of the above, then the best thing is to leave it be and enjoy watching from it afar.


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