I've found a Seal pup, what should I do?
The first thing to do if you find a seal pup is to establish whether or not it needs help. Young Grey seals don't enter the sea for the first few weeks of their lives. They have a thick white fur coat which can become easily waterlogged. Usually they only enter the water after the fur has been moulted out. Common Seals however, should be up and out swimming just a few hours after birth.
Adult seals will leave their young on the shore for sometimes long periods of time while they are out at sea. If the pup is just sleeping and doesn't appear to be in immediate danger or have any apparent injuries then most likely there is nothing wrong.
If you are worried that the pup is orphaned then you must observe it from a distance. If you stand to close you may disturb the mother from coming ashore. Make sure that other people and dogs do not approach the pup or try and usher it into the sea. Grey Seals with fur may drown.
Outward signs that there may be a problem include the nutrition of the pup. If it is underweight it may have visible ribs and hips. It may have loose, baggy or wrinkled skin. If it is ill you may notice it coughing or wheezing, it may have a thick mucus round its eyes, mouth or nostrils or it may be struggling to move. If the pup is injured you may see blood on its coat or skin or it may be favouring one flipper.