Watch seals from a distance to keep them safe, mammal medic says

A rescued 'whitecoat' grey seal pup at Eccles-on-Sea. Picture: Stuart Payne

A rescued 'whitecoat' grey seal pup at Eccles-on-Sea. Picture: Stuart Payne - Credit: Archant

A volunteer marine mammal medic has urged people to keep the region's seal pups safe by watching them from a distance.

A seal rescued at Scratby with a deep cut to the back of its neck. It was taken to the RSPCA at East

A seal rescued at Scratby with a deep cut to the back of its neck. It was taken to the RSPCA at East Winch. Picture: Kevin Murphy - Credit: Archant

Kevin Murphy, a volunteer with the Norfolk branch of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), is often dispatched to look after unwell, injured or abandoned seals on the area's beaches, along with a host of other marine animals.

But he said 'too many' of the seal rescues were for so-called 'whitecoats' - newborn pups without waterproof coats - who had been abandoned by their mothers.

Mr Murphy said: 'People are excited to see seals and pups, but seal pupping beaches should be kept fee from disturbance from people.

'If they feel harassed, mother seals will abandon their young, so it is important to look from a distance.'

Horsey Seals

Horsey Seals - Credit: citizenside.com


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He warned that dogs could pass diseases to seals and may attack pups, so need to be kept on leads at seal colonies.

Last weekend, Mr Murphy rescued two seal pups - one at Eccles-on-Sea, a whitecoat, and another at Scratby, which had suffered a deep cut to the back of its neck.

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He said people should call the RSPCA or BDMLR if they have concerns over an animal, by calling 01825 765546 or if out of hours, 07787433412.

BDMLR is staffed entirely by volunteers and though the charity fundraisers to provide volunteers with kit, Mr Murphy said extra help and donations are 'greatly appreciated'.

Taken on Horsey beach just after lunch on the 25th October 2016. This was my first time taking photo

Taken on Horsey beach just after lunch on the 25th October 2016. This was my first time taking photographs as I am only 10 - Credit: citizenside.com

In particular, he said he was in need of vari kennel carriers, at least three-foot-long, to transport seals, as well as non-fluffy, threadbare towels.

if you can help, please call 01825 765546 and for information on the charity, visit www.bdmlr.org.uk• Do you have an animal welfare story? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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