Heatwave sees record number of seal pups rescued at Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary

Seal pups at the Sea Life Sanctuary Picture: Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary

Seal pups at the Sea Life Sanctuary Picture: Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary - Credit: Archant

A sea life sanctuary is on course to rescue a record number of seal pups this year.

A rescued seal pup Picture: Matthew Usher

A rescued seal pup Picture: Matthew Usher - Credit: Matthew Usher

It comes after the RSPCA's Norfolk animal hospital reported a surge in the number of adult sea mammals injured by fishing nets and rubbish.

The number of pups admitted to Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuaary's seal hospital has soared in the recent heatwave, with the team caring for more of the needy animals than last year.

Aquarist Jemma McGuinness said: 'Rescued Common Seal Cha-Cha was one of the seals discovered during the recent heat wave, found abandoned by a member of the public at Heacham Dam. The hot weather increased the importance of intervention as it wouldn't have been able to last long in those conditions.

'We have received a number of call outs to seals which don't necessarily need our help, some are perfectly fine and all they require is a little distance from people. However on occasion they do require intervention which is when our team and volunteer organisations can help.'

A pup raised at the sanctuary is released back into the wild Picture: Ian Burt

A pup raised at the sanctuary is released back into the wild Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

MORE - what to do if you find a seal pupThere are a number of aspects that can cause a seal pup to get stranded on land, including abandonment by the mother seal or injury from plastic, rocks and boats. However, the recent hot weather poses a particular threat to pups as they risk dehydration in the heat. With the heatwave also bringing increasing numbers of visitors to Hunstanton's beaches, more and more people find themselves in a position to help the vulnerable pups.


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Rescuing abandoned seal pups is not unusual but the centre's aquarist Nicky Nelson, said: 'It is important for the public to be aware of some important information if they come across a seal pup. It's natural that people would want to help an abandoned baby animal, and we just want to share a few tips that can help increase a pup's chance of survival.

'We always advise people to keep their distance from seal pups they think may be abandoned and return to check on them the next day if possible.

Natalie Emmerson from Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary and a seal pup: Picture supplied

Natalie Emmerson from Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary and a seal pup: Picture supplied - Credit: Archant

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'Of course if the pup is injured or in immediate danger, we would then ask them to call the sanctuary in Hunstanton or another animal rescue organisation such as the RSPCA or BDMLR for assistance.'

A large grey seal pup which became separated from its mother in a storm Picture: Hunstanton Sea Lif

A large grey seal pup which became separated from its mother in a storm Picture: Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary - Credit: Archant

A three-week-old grey seal Picturee: Archant

A three-week-old grey seal Picturee: Archant

This pup was kept in a bath tub until experts from the sanctuary collected it Picture: Submitted

This pup was kept in a bath tub until experts from the sanctuary collected it Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

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