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


2009-09-16 14:48:12

Broadstairs/Joss Bay - Seal Pup

We received a call for a Common seal pup in distress on the beach at around 15.42 both myself and Brett Lewis attended. On examination the left flipper was a little "crunchy" when Brett assessed it and the temperature was 38 degrees on the average of three readings that I took. It was underweight and with a 12mm puncture wound to the left rear of it's neck which was slightly bloody but not showing signs of laceration. Both eyes were clear, with no visible discharge from the ears or anus. Teeth healthy. Weight including seal bag 14.03kg. Thought to be approx 8 weeks old.

I transported it to RSPCA Mallydams but sadly it passed away when minutes away.

On further inspection there was a large puncture wound in the roof of it's mouth about 30mm diameter and 10mm deep, possibly associated with another seal bite. There was a large infected area under the neck/chest of the animal which when the animal was turned on its back was very prominent and of considerable bulk of firm consistency.

The left shoulder blade was dislodged and the shoulder cavity was considerably damaged when pressure as applied with no resistance from the skeleton and muscle bulk. Taking into consideration the weather conditions (NE force 6 approx) and sea state (large swell) I would suggest the seal had been heavily thrown onto the rocks a single time as there were no other external trauma visible.

Taking into consideration the later observations upon arrival at Mallydams the outcome for this pup would have been limited, with either it passing away during the night or put to sleep today by their vet.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, we tried our hardest.

Jason Carter
Kent Coordinator