With a forecast of unsettled weather and big tides over the next week, the National Seal Sanctuary is asking the public to leave baby seals alone.
Already this week, the Sanctuary admitted its first whitecoat pup of the season named "Roo" - who stranded on a local beach tangled in discarded fishing net at the end of a weekend of bad weather.
"Young whitecoat seal pups born around the Cornish coastline at this time of year can get separated from their mothers in the first few days or weeks of life during storm and tidal surges", explained the Sanctuary´s Curator, Dr. Glenn Boyle.
"When these highly visible pups strand, apparently abandoned, it is natural for people to feel the need to intervene immediately. Ideally, though, some time should be left for an attending mother to locate and nurse its pup, which can take several hours", Dr, Boyle added. "This is a critical time for the pup, and we should do all that we can to protect it from disturbance or inappropriate treatment. While we provide premium care at our facility, there really is no substitute for nature, and a pup should be given every chance to be reunited with its mother, if prevailing conditions allow."
Dr. Boyle was keen to thank Roo´s rescuer. "The general public is tremendously supportive, and the Sanctuary thanks everyone in advance for their interest and help", he said. "However, we ask anyone concerned about a pup to call us first, before taking what might be the wrong action."
Because each situation is unique, the Sanctuary recommends the following four steps if a stranded pup is discovered:-
Do keep your distance
Don´t handle or move the pup
Don´t ignore the situation
Do contact the Seal Sanctuary on 01326 221361