THE RSPCA has taken a late newborn seal into its care.

The grey seal pup – thought to be just three to four days old – had his umbilical cord attached when he was found at St Justinian’s near St Davids.

Seal Pup Feb 2It is unusual for seals to be born at this time of year as this is end of their breeding season. Grey seal breeding seasons can differ given the geographical location; in Wales the season is typically August to November.

Terry Leadbetter from Welsh Marine Life Rescue collected the seal, which was found covered in mud on the rocks on Friday [20 February], and contacted the RSPCA.

RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) Ellie West and inspector Keith Hogben picked up the seal from Mr Leadbetter, and he has now been transferred to RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife and Animal Centre for rehabilitation.

ACO West said: “This pup has been born so late – this is quite late to have a seal pup on the West Coast.

“There had been no sign of mum for some time and he was far too young to fend for himself.

“Unfortunately he could not have been left where he was and he still had an umbilical cord attached. He must have been three to four days old. He was very very sweet.”

The seal has been taken into care for rehabilitation where he will be for some months until ready to be released back into the wild.

ACO West added: “We would like to thank Terry and Ann Leadbetter from Welsh Marine Life and their volunteers for their invaluable help, commitment and knowledge this past seal season.”

This pup was obviously in distress but not all lone seal pups have been abandoned. If you find a seal pup that looks fit and healthy and shows no signs of distress monitor it first from a safe distance for 24 hours. Please don’t touch seal pups (as they can give a nasty bite) and keep dogs and other animals away from them.

If the mother does not return within 24 hours, or you think that the pup is sick or injured – please keep a safe distance and call our 24-hour advice and cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).