The Scottish SPCA is urging the public to be aware of injured seals and orphaned pups who might need their assistance this winter.
We have seen an influx of seals come into our National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross since the beginning of November.
Every year we can expect to care for over 100 grey seal pups of various ages. This year any seals that come in will carry Disney, Pixar or Dreamworks names. So far we’ve had Fergus, named after King Fergus from Brave, Snow White, Pumba and many more.
Centre Manager Colin Seddon said, “Grey seals come ashore to give birth in autumn and winter which is why we see such an increase in our care at this time of year.
“It is extremely rare for us to have a seal brought into our care who doesn’t require some treatment.
“If you can get close to a seal then it is most likely injured or in trouble, however we urge the public not to approach them without giving our animal helpline a call first.”
Colin went on to explain what to do if you see a seal pup without its mother, “A mother grey seal will leave her pup on land while she is out feeding because it cannot swim very well until it has lost all of its white fur, which happens at around three to four weeks of age.
“If her pup is touched or moved then there is a good chance she will abandon it.
“You should call our animal helpline immediately if you spot a seal pup as it might need immediate care. Please do not approach it and keep dogs on a lead in case they frighten it into the water.”
Anyone who discovers an injured or distressed wild animal should call the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.
We are currently caring for Fergus the seal after he arrived at our National Wildlife Rescue Centre from Holland on Thursday 9 November.
Fergus was found alone on Portobello beach by a member of the public.
Centre Manager Colin Seddon said, “Fergus had travelled a long way as his tag proved he had been released from a rescue centre in Holland having arrived into their care as an orphan on the 18th of July.
“Fergus was very underweight and weighed only 14.3kg when he arrived into our care. He had lost half of his body weight and was very weak which is not surprising as he swam all the way from Holland.
“He has been responding well to treatment and once he has made a full recovery in our care, we will release him back into the wild.”