RSPCA Cymru has rescued the 100th seal of an “exceptionally busy season” for the animal welfare charity in the south west and west of Wales.
The latest seal to be helped by the charity was seen following a member of the public across a Caswell Bay beach in Swansea, and was shivering constantly. There were loose dogs on the beach, which also caused concern that the seal could be in danger.
RSPCA officers attended, and rescued the pup on Tuesday (January 30). The moulted grey seal pup, who was exceptionally thin, is currently in the care of the Welsh Marine Life Rescue, who have provided “invaluable” support to the charity throughout the season. RSPCA staff have nicknamed the seal “Century.”
The seal marks the 100th to be rescued in south west and west of Wales by the charity in recent months.
RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) Ellie West said: “Century the seal marks the 100th which our officers have rescued in the south west, and west of Wales, area in this exceptionally busy season. The poor pup was found stranded on a beach, and very thin, but we were able to safely collect him.
“We have needed to devote a huge amount of resources to rescue, rehabilitate and release these beautiful creatures. We’re indebted to Welsh Marine Life Rescue who have provided invaluable support over this season, in helping us rescue so many seals.
“Dramatic weather conditions caused by the Ophelia and Brian storms saw us rescue approximately 40 seals, while a further 60 have been rescued across the entire region’s coastline, from Borth, to the Gower, and Porthcawl. since early September.”
Rescuing seals across this region has seen RSPCA officers involved in some exciting and dramatic rescues.
In November, a seal pup became trapped between heavy rocks and boulders by a sea wall near the town’s steelworks – known locally as ‘Aberavon Pier’. An RSPCA-led operation, including multiple agencies, saw a giant boulder moved to access the seal – who is now progressing very well at specialist wildlife facilities.
The season has also seen RSPCA officers return rehabilitated seals to the wild. In December, a male pup was released in the Gower, with the heart-warming moment captured on video – after the pup was saved from Quay Parade in Aberaeron in early August, underweight, wounded and high-up on the beach some distance from the water.
ACO West added: “While the seal season is coming to an end, we always remind anyone who sees a pup whose mother hasn’t returned within 24 hours, is on a public beach, or seems sick or injured, to contact our 24-hour emergency line on 0300 1234 999.
“It’s important the public never approach seals and keep any dogs well away and on a lead, as wild animals can have a nasty bite.”
The RSPCA publishes additional information about what to do if you see a seal or pup on the beach alone. Should you wish to help the RSPCA help animals in need, you can donate online.