British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (photo: Steve Marsh)
British Divers Marine Rescue


2008-09-13 22:14:24

The pup season in Cornwall has started…

Seal pupMonitoring was already underway on three other grey seal pups around Cornwall when a call came through about an injured whitecoat seal pup – on the Isles of Scilly! The report was made by our contact over there, Dave McBride, who had been told about it by a couple on holiday who had seen a seal presentation by him earlier in the week. Dave was one of a number of islanders who had received some practical training from BDMLR at Easter this year. He went around to the rocks at one side of Porthcressa beach on the main island, St Mary’s, to look for the animal, and found a young seal amongst the rocks with some injuries to the head and flippers. We advised Dave to get some photographs e-mailed over to us so we could assess its condition, while his wife Sarah, and their children Libby and Kian watched over it.

When the photos reached us, we could see a number of superficial grazes around the foreflippers, but there was also a nasty looking one around the left eye, which appeared slightly inflamed and with some oedema present in it. We passed on this information to Animal Care Supervisor Tamara Cooper at the National Seal Sanctuary, who agreed that it should come in to them for rehabilitation.

We got back in touch with Dave and advised him of what to do while we, with the assistance of medic Gary Hawkins, booked the animal on a helicopter flight from St Mary’s to the heliport at Penzance on the mainland. Dave did a great job of handling his first seal and it was quickly on the arranged flight, coincidentally with the couple that had originally found it. On arrival at the heliport, it was brought out to meet Tamara, Animal Care Assistant Amy Hudson, volunteer Siobahn Broadbent, plus BDMLR Coordinator/Director Dave Jarvis and Medics Lesley and Dan Jarvis. The pup was quickly assessed, found to be a week old female, and taken for rehabilitation.

Dan Jarvis
Marine Mammal Medic
British Divers Marine Life Rescue