Rare "White Coated" Pup at Seal Sanctuary

The arrival of an orphaned seal pup still sporting a snowy white coat has surprised seal experts at the National Seal Sanctuary.

"Pups lose their white fur between two and three weeks old" explained Curator Dr Glenn Boyle, "and since the vast majority of grey sea] pups are born between July and November, we are very surprised to have a white coated pup this late in the season."

Found on Porthtowan beach, she was so young she still had the umbilical chord attached. A concerned member of the public raised the alarm and the pup was rescued and delivered to the Sanctuary by the RSPCA.

"She´s very tiny and will need a couple of weeks on a high-fat milk substitute to get up to a reasonable weight" said Glenn.

"There seems to be a little bit of a lung infection which should clear up with antibiotics, but apart from that she´s in fairly good shape"

The Sanctuary has a different theme each year for the names of it´s rescued pups, and has been christening this winter´s influx after different types of beer.

Hence the slightly ironic name of "Ginger" given to the fluffy white newcomer.

"It was next on the list," said Glenn, who urged anyone else finding an abandoned seal pup to call the Sanctuary team on 01326 221361.

He also warned of the importance of keeping a safe distance and observing for a while before taking any action.

"More often than not, the mother will simply be away at sea feeding, and will soon return to her offspring," he added.

For more details, please contact Dr Glenn Boyle or Rachael Vine on 01326 221361

Press Release date: 20th January 2006