First orphaned seal pup rescued

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The week-old pup was rescued in Wick

A NEWBORN seal pup who became separated from his mother in a storm is the first of many grey seals expected to be rescued by the Scottish SPCA this winter.

Less than a week old, the male grey seal pup was found washed up on a harbour wall at Wick, Caithness, after a severe storm resulted in fifteen foot waves crashing against the shore.

He was rescued by Senior Inspector Audrey Gunn and treated at British Divers Marine Life Rescue Highland Seal Hospital overnight before being transported to the Scottish SPCA’s Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fife.

He has been named Moon by staff there.

Abandoned

Centre Manager Colin Seddon said, “Moon was too small to be separated from his mother and unable to swim so it was lucky someone spotted him and called us for help.

“He is being tube fed and already responding very well to treatment.”

The Scottish SPCA is now urging members of the public to contact its animal helpline if they see a distressed seal pup lying on the shore this winter, adding that they could be doing more harm than good by approaching or picking it up.

Colin continued, “We often receive seal pups that are healthy but have been abandoned by their mothers because someone has disturbed them.

“A mother grey seal will leave her pup on land while she is out feeding because it cannot swim until it has lost all of its white fur, which happens at around three to four weeks of age. If her pup is touched or moved then there is a good chance she will abandon it.

“Our message to the public is, if you see a sick seal pup call our animal helpline for advice or assistance on 03000 999 999 before approaching it.”

Moon will be cared for at the Scottish SPCA’s Wildlife Rescue Centre until he is fully fit, feeding himself and at the right weight to be released.

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