There is a disturbing trend amongst the UK beaches where the RSPCA is noting that more and more stranded seal pups are being discovered all alone and in bad conditions. The RSPCA believes that the pups are being chased into the ocean by beachgoers, and then they become separated from their mothers and orphaned as a result.
Because of this, the RSPCA organization has noted that their rescue center of East Winch Wildlife Center in Norfolk has turned into a “seal orphanage” following a big surge in orphaned seal pups. The RSPCA is now trying to get across to the public the severity of their actions.
Alison Charles, the East Winch Wildlife Center’s manager, spoke to Radio Norwich about the situation, saying that the little pups can swim as soon as they’re born, but this will cause them to end up getting lost if they separate from their moms too soon. While sometimes this happens naturally, what Alison pointed out as really worrying, are the reports that the center is getting that members of the public are actually chasing the seal pups into the water if they see them on the beach.
She said, “This is really concerning because the reason the pup is resting on the beach is likely because they are exhausted due to being so young and still building up their strength.”
Alison further noted that this year alone, the center was called about half a dozen times from concerned civilians reporting others chasing seal pups off the beaches. This raises more concerns amongst staff at the center who are worried about the number of incidents that they may not be aware of.
Alison continued to talk about the pups that they were in their care, such as Cannellini. The little pup had been picked up in Corton, Suffolk after reports that the day before he’d been chased off into the sea by someone at Lowestoft, Suffolk.
According to Alison, seal pups can take up to five months to build their strength back up, which is why it’s so important not to approach them and scare them off. Additionally, dogs should always be kept on a leash in order to avoid them chasing the seals into the sea or accidentally biting them.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.