Seal Pup White Coat

 

White Coat Grey Seal Pup in NewquayT

he Seal Pupping season has begun just as the huge storms rage. We have suffered many Grey Seal Pup casualties, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary and West Hatch are full of seal pups as young as a couple of days old who have succumed to either injury, starvation, dehydration, net entanglement , infection, parasites or injury. The first year of life is tough and about half don't make it.White Coat beginning to Moult in Newquay

This little chap was swimming around a deep rockpool filled with man made debri on a beach in Newquay. Dogs passed by with their human escorts and peered down at the cutiest little face you ever saw. As British Divers Marine Life Rescue Marine Mammal Medics we were asked to investigate the report of the abandoned seal pup. Having assessed that the pup had no mother waiting close by to feed the seal, we were able to establish that it was a partly moulted White Coat Grey Seal pup. Their mothers would generally stay and feed the pup with 60% fat rich milk then after only three short weeks leaves the pup to fend and hunt for itself. It appeared that this little guy was well and apart from a couple of small bites to his rear left flipper he was fit to go back out to sea after some treatment to rear flipper. He swam away as soon as he hit the deeper ocean.

Video of gorgeous little white coat

http://youtu.be/_7bQeL_6v0Q

If you come across what you think might be an abandoned or injured seal BDMLR  have  printed the following simple guidelines that you can follow:

 

"Stranded Animals

How you can help marine mammals in need.

If you find a live seal

Watch it from a distance. Do not approach the animal. Seals regularly haul out on our coasts - it is part of their normal behaviour. Therefore, finding a seal on the beach does not mean there is necessarily a problem. A healthy seal should be left well alone.

However, if there is a problem, there are a number of things you may see:

  • Abandoned: If you see a seal with a white, long-haired coat in the autumn/winter, or you see a small seal (less than 3 feet in length) alone between June and August, then it is probably still suckling from its mother. Check the sea regularly for any sign of an adult seal.
  • Thin: Signs of malnutrition include visible ribs, hips and neck and perhaps a rather baggy, wrinkled skin.
  • Sick: Signs of ill health include : coughing, sneezing or noisy, rapid breathing and possibly thick mucus coming from the nose, wounds or swellings, particularly on the flippers, and possibly favouring one flipper when moving (although remember that healthy seals will often lie and ‘hunch along’ on their sides) cloudy eyes, or thick mucus around them, or possibly one eye kept closed most of the time a seal showing little response to any disturbance going on around it (although remember they could be soundly asleep).

If you see a seal that may be abandoned, thin or ill, then call for advice and assistance:

BDMLR hotline: 01825 765546 (office hours) or 07787 433412 (out of hours)
RSPCA hotline (England & Wales): 0300 1234 999
SSPCA hotline (Scotland): 03000 999 999

You will receive further advice over the phone. If there is a problem with the animal, there are some important things you can do to help:

  • Provide information: Give the hotline an accurate description of the seal and its exact location. If at all possible, stay on the beach to guide the rescue team to the animal. This can save valuable and perhaps critical time. If you have a mobile, give the number to the hotline.
  • Control disturbance: Stop other people and their animals from approaching the seal, because - if it is a seal pup that is still suckling, then approaching the pup could threaten the mother-pup bond and the pup may be abandoned seals will react if approached too closely and are capable of inflicting a nasty bite - even the smallest pup can cause serious injury and this is even more of a risk with adults.
  • Prevent small seals from entering the sea: Stand between a pup and the sea and, if necessary, use a board or similar object to restrain it. Under no circumstances, attempt this with adult seals, as you could leave yourself open to injury. You should avoid handling a seal pup at all costs, for the same reason. Under no circumstances allow anybody to push the seal back in the sea. A pup still suckling is a poor swimmer and an older animal may be hauled out for good reason.

If you find a live whale, dolphin or porpoise

A whale, dolphin or porpoise stranded on the beach is obviously not a usual phenomenon. These animals do not beach themselves under normal circumstances, and they will require assistance.

BDMLR hotline: 01825 765546 (office hours) or 07787 433412 (out of hours)
RSPCA hotline (England & Wales): 0300 1234 999
SSPCA hotline (Scotland): 03000 999 999

You will receive further advice over the phone, but important things you can do to help are:

  • Provide essential first aid.
  • Support the animal in an upright position and dig trenches under the pectoral fins.
  • Cover the animal with wet sheets or towels (even seaweed) and keep it moist by spraying or dousing with water.
  • Do NOT cover, or let any water pass down the blowhole (nostril), sited on top of the animal's head. This will cause the animal great distress and could even kill it.
  • Every movement around a stranded animal should be quiet, calm and gentle. Excessive noise and disturbance will only stress it further.
  • Estimate the length of the animal and look for any distinguishing feature that may give clues as to the species you are dealing with.
  • Look for any signs of injury and count the number of breaths (opening of the blowhole) that occur over a minute - this can give important clues as to how stressed the animal is.
  • Take great care when handling a dolphin, porpoise or whale; keep away from the tail, as it can inflict serious injuries - this is particularly the case with whales and it is advisable to leave handling larger whales until experienced help has arrived. Avoid the animal’s breath, as it may carry some potentially nasty bacteria.
  • Provide information: Give the hotline an exact location for the animal - this can save valuable and perhaps critical time. If you have a mobile, give the number to the hotlin
  • Give an accurate description of the animal, including its breathing rate, and whether it is in the surf, on rocks or sand, in the shade or in the full glare of the su
  • Information on weather conditions and sea state also can be helpfu
  • The hotline should be informed of any attempts already made to push the animal back into the sea
  • Maintain control
  • Keep all contact, noise and disturbance to a minimum
  • Under no circumstances, release the animal into the sea before the rescue team has arrived. It is fine to support a smaller dolphin or porpoise in the water, as long as the blowhole is kept above the water at all times, and as long as it is carried to the water carefully, e.g. in a tarpaulin (do NOT drag it or lift it by its fins or tail)
  • However, actually releasing the animal before it has received an assessment and first aid from experienced personnel can do more harm than good."

 Then finally seal pup is relkeased under BDMLR advise. If you want to help why not adopt these seals and support the good work to rehabilitate them until they too are fit for release back i nto the wild where they belong.Seal Pup being Released to the Sea Near Newquay