‘If they are interfered with, they will die’ - concerns for seal pups ahead of second lockdown
- Credit: PA
Incredible photographs of the first newborn seal pups at a Norfolk beach have prompted campaigners to highlight the importance of wardens as a second national lockdown approaches.
The vice chairman of the Friends of Horsey Seal David Vyse has said it could put the seal pups at risk.
Horsey Beach was closed off to the public last week until January due to the increasing number of pregnant grey seals starting to gather at the beach.
The Friends of Horsey Seal have 300 wardens that look after the beach to ensure visitors do not get to close to the seals during pupping season.
Members of the public are told not to come within 50 metres of the seals because it could cause the mothers to abandon their pups early.
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Mr Vyse said: “If we aren’t able to warden, I just don’t know what will happen to the seals - they will just be pushed back into the sea, they will be abandoned.”
The car parks around the beach will be shut but with more than 100,000 visitors to the area last year, Mr Vyse said he does not think that will be enough to stop members of the public visiting.
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The beaches have been roped off, with people told to keep to the sand dunes above to view the seals.
Pupping season is due to last until February and last year 2,316 pups were born.
Mr Vyse said: “There are areas where people can go on the beach and the wardens won’t be there to tell them, so it will be a free-for-all.
“If they are interfered with, they will die.
“Over Christmas, it is like Piccadilly Circus there and that’s why we have to warden.
“I hope we are allowed to but there will be a lot who won’t be able to do it because of the lockdown, for family reasons and so on.”
Once born, the pups remain with their mother for three weeks, during which they grow to three times their size, before she returns to the sea.”