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


2009-02-27 14:57:38

Seal pup for Montrose/Dundee Teams

Seal pupGillian Muir from Tayside Police Central Control called my BDMLR mobile at 17.37pm to report a seal pup in distress at The Elliot Burn in Arbroath. Police Incident Number 312 was logged on file and Gillian requested an update later so they could cross it off their books. Arbroath/Montrose Medic Thom McNeil and Dundee Medic Stewart Burns were free to respond. Stewart confirmed he would call me when he arrived on scene and had met up with Thom. (BDMLR on call Karen Kirk and Sue White covering Karen til 7pm were both informed of current proceedings). Thom McNeil called me back at 7pm from Jane Taits mobile and reported that the almost fully weaned grey seal pup (a few white hairs on muzzle) was underweight with prominent loose folds of skin showing and it was lying on its side. It was responsive and alert and had no visible signs of discharges from eyes, ears and nose but it was coughing. On moving on to its stomach the folds of skin were less obvious so it was suggested that the pup was borderline. Jane Tait (Member of the public) who spotted the pup whilst out walking her dog "Alfie" was kind enough to stay with it until Medics arrived keeping other dog walkers away as an alsatian had already made for it! The SSPCA had also been called by concerned members of the public and we were made aware of this whilst in attendance. Colin Lydell at SSPCA Middlebank was given all details and confirmed that a seal pen was available and would Medics call when they were outside the centre so that the gates to the rehab unit could be opened up. ETA was given as 9.30ish. Gillian from Tayside Police was updated on the pups uplift as was Karen Kirk (BDMLR on call). I also called the on duty SSPCA inspector out of courtesy to ask if the pup had been reported to them which was confirmed but there was no word of anybody having been, or intending to go and assess it.I let them know that Medics had uplifted the pup so there was no need for them to respond now. Asked by the Inspector if there was something wrong with it, I confirmed that it was virtually fully weaned and borderline underweight. Many thanks to all involved in particular Jane Tait and "Alfie" for staying with the pup for 45 minutes to keep dog walkers away prior to medic arrival, and for staying whilst the medics got the car and seal transportation tank onto the adjoining grass and pathway. Jane has now joined us with "Alfie" as one of our local "doggy walker observers".

Elaine Roft
Marine Mammal Medic
BDMLR Area Co-ordinator

Seal pup has settled in at Middlebank. Named "Striven" and given reference number 0242. It weighed in at 20kg. Borderline but Colin was happy to accommodate it and treat the pup which was again coughing on way to rehab centre and will be treated for lungworm. It also has a small infection to its naval which will be treated.

Stewart Burns
Marine Mammal Medic
Dundee Area