WATCH: Sparring seals clash in wildlife expert’s new video
PUBLISHED: 10:49 14 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:17 14 January 2020
Bull pups going flipper to flipper on a Norfolk beach have been documented by a Norwich filmmaker.
Wildlife expert Liam Smith, who has recently filmed ring neck parakeets and an otter in the River Wensum, visited Winterton to film the mammals.
Crowds are drawn to the Norfolk coastline to take pictures of the animals, but the wildlife expert said it was important people did so responsibly.
Mr Smith, who runs the YouTube channel a Shot of Wildlife, said: "I am a strong believer that people should be able to see and enjoy wildlife but if you do visit the grey seals, please do so responsibly.
"It's is good advice to keep a good distance from the seals and definitely not to get to close if you have dogs with you. Grey seals are frequently attacked by dogs so it is best for them to keep their natural fear of our canine friends."
During the winter, thousands of grey seals will haul themselves onto the beach ready to mate, give birth and rear their pups.
While filming, Mr Smith spotted two bulls practicing rather than fighting for real, which is how males win the right to mate.
Some seals were not so lucky, with the 27-year-old spotting one bull with a three-inch gash on its back.
The documentary maker said: "The bulls in this video are young and seem to be practicing rather than fighting for real, however many of the larger seals on the beach show signs of having been in much more serious fights.
"Most of the time this doesn't result in physical conflict, the bulls flare their teeth at each other, they turn their bodies sideways to appear bigger and slap their bellies onto the ground to show how powerful they are.
"When this is not enough the only way to make your point is to fight, and despite their cuddly appearance, grey seals are ferocious fighters."
Newborn baby seals must quickly learn to fend for themselves as their mothers will abandon them after three weeks.
At this time the young pups have not developed waterproof layer to their skin, which will take a further three weeks to grow. To preserve energy, they will rest on the beach until they shed their white fur.
Mr Smith said: "In the face of such a feat it is no surprise that around a half of all grey seal pups will not survive their first 18 months."
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