A number of sick seal pups washed up on the shores of South Wales have been taken into RSPCA care.
Recent storms appear to have had a significant effect on the grey seal population leading to an influx in calls about suffering seal pups.
RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) Ellie West has been responding to several calls across the South Wales coastline. She said:
“Sadly it is this time of year when seal pups can be effected by bad weather because they are so vulnerable.
“Where possible we prefer to leave seal pups where they are found and monitor them but if they are injured or underweight then they need to be collected for treatment.”
Over just a few days, five sick seals were collected and taken to the RSPCA’s West Hatch Wildlife Centre for rehabilitation.
On Friday 13 November ACO West was called to Porthcawl beach where a moulted grey seal pup was found to be very thin for her age and with a few wounds. On Sunday 15 November the RSPCA received a call about a moulted grey at Oxwich Bay, Gower.
“This seal was also in a thin body condition and she had a nasty infected deep wound to her neck,” added ACO West.
“On the same day a seal – a ‘white coat’ – was found in a thin body condition and had discharge from his nose. This seal was found at Llangennith.”
A sick white coat has also been collected from Pencarnon near St David’s and another sick pup was collected from Pembrey on Thursday (19 November) that had a nasty infected bite wound to her muzzle. These have both been transferred to RSPCA West Hatch for rehabilitation.
There are currently 15 seals at the wildlife centre who have been rescued from South Wales beaches over the past few months.
The RSPCA would advise anyone who finds a seal pup on the beach who is not in immediate danger and looks fit and healthy to monitor the animal. If the mother does not return within 24 hours then a call should be logged with the RSPCA for collection.
A healthy pup will look big and fat without a neck whereas a thin pup will look sleek and will have a visible neck. If a sick, thin or injured pup is found then a call should be made to the RSPCA.
A seal on a busy public beach (adults, children or dogs around or close to the seal) is likely to be sick or injured.
The charity would advise the public not to touch seals as they can give a nasty bite, not to put the animal back into the water as it could be washed out to sea and lost and not to allow dogs or other animals near the seal.
Calls about sick, underweight and injured seals can be logged with the RSPCA national cruelty and advice 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). We are a charity and rely on public donations to exist.