Video and photo gallery: Rescue mission after seal pup found alone on Caister beach

A seal pup on the beach at Caister.
The pup was reported and rescued by the RSPCA.

Picture: James Bass A seal pup on the beach at Caister. The pup was reported and rescued by the RSPCA. Picture: James Bass

Tuesday, October 15, 2013
11:23 AM

A rescue mission was mounted after a seal pup was found alone on an east Norfolk beach.

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The common seal, believed to be about four months old and fully weaned from his mother, was first spotted on Sunday afternoon.

One Caister resident, who did not wish to be named, voiced concern Norfolk’s animal charities had taken “too long” to rescue the seal.

She said she called the RSPCA on Sunday night and again on Monday morning when she found the creature lying in the same spot.

But animal rescue centres and charities throughout the county had received numerous calls about the animal.

The Seal and Bird Rescue Trust based in North Walsham said it had been “inundated”, while the British Divers Marine Life Rescue charity said it went out to the beach on Sunday night after receiving calls.

Its volunteers found the pup was not in distress and decided to leave it alone.

However, by 11am yesterday the RSPCA had returned to the scene after further reports that the seal had still not moved.

It was taken to the RSPCA’s East Winch Wildlife Centre near Kings Lynn – where experts are now looking after the pup and determining if he is healthy enough to return to the North Sea.

Meanwhile, the RSPCA has issued advice for anyone who comes across a seal or seal pup on its own:
n Do not touch; seals haul out for hours on end so unless the animal appears to be injured or in distress it should be left alone.
n Do not allow dogs or other animals to harass it.
n Do not try and feed it.
n Do not try and usher it back into the water because if it’s sick it could get into difficulty.
n If the seal looks healthy and there are no signs of distress, monitor it for 24 hours. If it is young pup and the mum does not return, contact an animal charity for advice. Healthy seals are fat and often lie on their back or side, whiile unhealthy seals tend to lie on their tummies.

For more information or advice, call the East Wynch Wildlife Centre on 0300 123 0709.

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