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Do you know what to do if you find a seal pup on one of Norfolk’s beaches?

PUBLISHED: 11:13 01 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:13 01 August 2018

Do you know what to do if you find a seal pup? Picture: Ian Ward

Do you know what to do if you find a seal pup? Picture: Ian Ward

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Experts at Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary say this is what to do if you find what appears to be an abandoned seal pup.

Not all pups are abandoned. Their mothers leave them for four to six hours while they go to sea to fish  Picture: Matthew UsherNot all pups are abandoned. Their mothers leave them for four to six hours while they go to sea to fish Picture: Matthew Usher

Do not touch

Most importantly, do not touch the seal or let any dogs approach it. If the mother returns and smells any animal scent which isn’t her own on the pup, she will abandon it immediately, even if it is perfectly healthy.

You should never touch a seal pup. Your smell could cause its mother to abandon it Picture: SubmittedYou should never touch a seal pup. Your smell could cause its mother to abandon it Picture: Submitted

Revisit if possible

Seal mothers will leave their pups on the beach for four to six hours at a time while they hunt, so it is worth revisiting the pup, or calling an animal rescue organisation or Sea Life Hunstanton, who can check on the pup.

Beware of danger

Seals are born with very sharp teeth. Whilst they look cute, they are still wild animals that can become aggressive, and anyone who approaches is at risk of getting bitten.

Observe

Sometimes a pup may be clearly sick, injured, or underweight. If that is the case, call the Hunstanton sanctuary for advice, who will pick up the pup and provide it with necessary care. The number is 01485 533576.

Check location

It may be that the pup is in a dangerous location, such as busy harbours or beaches. If this is the case the mother may be too afraid to return because of the level of human activity surrounding it. When contacting an organisation please take note of key landmarks or use GPS location when possible to identify the location of the animal which will help the team find the seal quickly.

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