Seals in Cornwall

Recently I have been volunteering in order to help protect seals in Cornwall. The UK seas are home to 40% of the world’s Atlantic Grey Seal population and #Cornwall is one of the easiest places to see these #seals. Sometimes you will see them swimming about close to shore and poking their noses out of the water; other times basking on rocks.

Atlantic Grey Seals

Grey #seals are the UK’s largest land breeding mammal and between the months of September and December, young grey seals are born. Seals can easily be disturbed by what they can hear, smell and see and it is really important that they are not approached on land and they can also spook easily when approached by sea-going craft. When a young seal pup is alone on the beach, it is particularly vulnerable to disturbance as people often think the seal has lost its mother and will approach it to see if they can help. This is the wrong thing to do and will probably result in the mother abandoning the pup. Mum is usually just offshore, feeding, and will come back to suckle the pup. Her milk is 60% fat and the young pup will put on lots of weight and become more independent in a very short space of time. Usually by 3-4 weeks, the mother and pup separate and the young seal will be left to fend for itself.

Many of the seal pups struggle in their first year or two as in the autumn and winter the sea can be very rough. If you do see an injured seal or one struggling to cope in rough seas, then contact either British Divers Marine Life Rescue on 01825 765546 or National Seal Sanctuary on 01326 221361. The mother shown in the following photos was rescued as a pup by the Seal Sanctuary in 2009, nursed back to health and later released. Without their help, she would no doubt have perished as she was seen struggling in heavy seas and being battered against the rocks.

Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek | Official Website – Sea Life