Advice When Spotting Sea Pups Ashore
Every year at about this time the Irish Seal Sanctuary issue advice about what to do if you should come across a seal pup while out for a walk on the coast.
Our local Grey seals breed on the islands and quiet beaches around Dublin Bay from Sept until about febuary, and are born with Lanugo (the soft white coat), they shed this when weaned at about 16 days old and they are fat at this stage.
They feed off this blubber as they learn to catch fish and survive on their own. But they are young and can tire easily. They will often come ashore to rest at this time. They do not need “ rescuing” simply because they have come ashore, the majority will return to the sea when the next full tide reaches them. A pup that needs rescueing and help will look obviously thin and be lethargic.
The best course of action is to observe the pup from a distance and not disturb it, Keep dogs and children away from it. Young pups with the whitecoat could be frightened back into the sea and they do not have the blubber layer to insulate them.
These same pups while they look cute and harmless can and will bite if they get a chance and the bite can be serious. Anywhere within reach of a seal colony can have a pup come ashore to rest. Naturally folks will want to get a photo of it but we advise to do it from a distance for your safety and that of the seals. If the seal looks like it realy needs help (most do not) please contact the Irish Seal Sanctuary or Seal rescue Ireland for advise.
Irish Seal Sanctuary (087) 3245423
Seal Rescue Ireland (087) 1955393