An injured and thin common seal pup – found with its umbilical cord attached – has been rescued from Llanelli beach by the RSPCA.
The unwell and young pup was found by walkers on the beach on Friday (14 June) and they waited a safe distance away from the seal until officers from the animal welfare charity arrived.
RSPCA animal welfare officer Paula Milton said: “The poor little pup was very thin and had a wound on its face. The pup was very young as it still had its umbilical cord attached. The seal had infected puncture wounds and once collected was immediately started on antibiotics.
“The seal was a fair distance out on the beach, and some very kind cockle pickers gave me a lift which was very kind of them.”
The seal – which has been nicknamed Bogwoppit – by staff at RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre, will now receive a period of rehabilitation and once fit and ready, will be released back into the wild. The seal is thought to be under two weeks old and weighs 9.5kg. The seal is the first of the season for the Norfolk wildlife centre, who this year are naming the seals that come into their care after mythical creatures.
RSPCA wildlife officer Ellie West, who transferred the pup to the centre said common seal pups are not usually found in the South Wales waters.
“Common seal pups are usually found on the East coast of England at this time of year,” she said. “The grey seal pupping season for the South Wales area usually starts around September.
“This pup was transferred to our wildlife centre in Norfolk as they usually have an intake of seal pups at this time of year, and although this is the first one for the centre, and will have company of its own kind soon.”
RSPCA Cymru would also like to make sure people know what to do if they suspect a seal pup is in danger.
“Should somebody find a seal pup that looks fit and healthy and shows no signs of distress, they should monitor it first from a safe distance for 24 hours,” said Ellie.
“It’s important the public never approach seals and keep any dogs well away and on a lead, as these are wild animals and can have a nasty bite.
“If the mother does not return within 24 hours or if the pup looks sick or injured, or the seal pup is on a busy public beach – please keep a safe distance and call our 24-hour emergency line on 0300 1234 999.”
For more information about what to do if you see a seal or pup on the beach alone, please visit the website: www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/orphanedanimals/sealpups
Should you wish to help RSPCA Cymru carry out rescues such as these, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations.