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


2009-12-26 09:48:11

Satellite Tagged Seal Rescued

Seal pupAmongst the numerous grey seal pup rescues carried out in the Cornwall over the past couple of months, an usual one occurred on Boxing Day afternoon. A call was initially received at 11.00 to a pup in St Ives Harbour, which was responded to by medics Dan and Lesley Jarvis, together with Area Co-ordinator Dave Jarvis. Having examined the animal and having found it to be apparently healthy it was decided to re-locate it to somewhere a bit quieter. Therefore it was taken to Carbis Bay, where it was released. From past experience, these events usually end with the pup making a dash to the ocean, but in this case it travelled about two yards, before deciding to go to sleep. It was noted that there was a lot a seabird activity and other seals in close proximity just offshore. Therefore, it was decided to leave the pup under observation, so leaving Dan with the animal, Dave and Lesley withdrew from the scene, but only a few minutes later they received a message from the National Seal Sanctuary to advise that a seal apparently with a satellite tag on it had been reported at Church Cove, Gunwalloe. Upon arrival a small pup was found, with an object about the same size of a brick on the back of its head / back, surrounded by several concerned members of the public. Medics Jan Ziolo, Jessica Maynard and Phil Jarvis also soon arrived and were rapidly followed by BDMLR Consultant Veterinary Surgeon James Barnett. The location was then isolated. Upon initial examination, it’s eyes were found to be dry and possibly squinting in one of them, so it was decided to take it to the National Seal Sanctuary for a more detailed examination. Unfortunately, during the course of this, it was found that a serious infection had developed where the tag had been glued onto the young pup and its skin had split open. It was therefore decided that the animal would need further treatment, potentially extensive. It is currently unknown where the tagging operation was carried out, by whom or when. Neither is it yet known how many other animals were tagged at the same time.

Dave Jarvis
Director and Cornwall Area Co-ordinator