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


2009-01-18 10:19:01

Pup with numerous problems uplifted near Newquay, Cornwall

Seal pup receiving treatmentGetting on for lunchtime, a call was received from the National Seal Sanctuary regarding a seal pup that had been spotted on the beach at Holywell Bay, near Newquay. Coordinator Dave Jarvis, with Medics Lesley and Dan Jarvis gathered rescue equipment and started out, calling ahead to Assistant Coordinator Jenny Haley who also made her way to the site with Medic Leanne Birtles.

Everyone arrived at roughly the same time. Jenny, Leanne and Dan carried on ahead to locate the pup, which was apparently at the far right hand side of the beach. On the walk up, they passed a freshly dead harbour porpoise that was being recorded by Louise Hockley of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Strandings Network. Continuing on, the pup was spotted tucked as far along the beach as possible, and was noted to be fully moulted and a little underweight. Jenny jumped the seal which Leanne and Dan assessed it, noting it to have ruckly breathing, two broken teeth in the upper jaw, infected wounds on both front flippers, minor injuries to the rear flippers and a high temperature at 38.7°C. With all of the health problems it was obvious the pup required treatment, so was moved into a seal bag and carried down the beach back towards the car park, meeting up with Lesley, Dave and Medic Imogen Ahern along the way.

The pup was transported by Dave to Clifton Villas Veterinary Surgery, where Jenny works as a vet nurse, so that its wounds could be cleaned, antibiotics given and rehydration fluids given. While this was going on arrangements were made with Wildlife Supervisor Shawn Clements at RSPCA Animal Hospital West Hatch in Taunton, Somerset, to take it on later that afternoon. He informed the staff at the centre of our estimated arrival time and a pen prepared for the pup, which was weighed in at slightly over 20kg.

Dan Jarvis
Marine Mammal Medic
British Divers Marine Life Rescue