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


2006-01-06 14:04:58

Grey seal pup rescued in North Cornwall

On the 5th January Animal Care Team member Marianne Fellows from the National Seal Sanctuary called the local BDMLR group about a seal hauled out on a beach in Bude, near the border with Devon on the North Cornish coast. Medic Dan Jarvis passed on the details to Sue White at Head Office, who called out Medics Hannah Walter and Max Faulkner, both of whom had only completed the Marine Mammal Medic course one month earlier. Despite searching the large beach, the seal was not found, and with darkness drawing in, the search was called off. Having discussed the situation with West Cornwall Coordinator Dave Jarvis, Max volunteered to recommence searching the following day with Medic Vicky Cartwright.

At around 2:30pm on the 6th, Max, called to say he had found the seal, which appeared slightly underweight and dehydrated. The Sanctuary was informed and it was suggested that the pup be taken to the RSPCA Hospital at West Hatch in Somerset due to the large number of pups that had come in from the West of Cornwall recently, which had left only one pen available that could potentially be in more urgent need of use in the next week or so. The RSPCA was contacted along with Sue at Head Office to advise of the situation. RSPCA ACO John Phipps agreed to collect the pup and take it to West Hatch, while Coordinators Dave Jarvis and Tim Bain also started out so that Tim could tube feed it fluids before it was taken away.

In the meantime, Max and Vicky jumped the pup and removed it from the beach, taking it back to Max's house for safety due to darkness once again closing in. Dave, Tim and John arrived later, where the pup was jumped by Tim, assessed by him and John, temperature taken and then tube fed. The pup was found to have a high temperature, while Dave noticed that the pup was holding one nostril open continuously and had injuries to its flippers. Senior Animal Care Assistant Tamara Cooper of the Seal Sanctuary and Sue White were advised. The pup was then loaded into John’s van and taken to Somerset to begin rehabilitation.

Medic Dan Jarvis BDMLR West Cornwall (Newquay – Land's End – St Austell)