Scotland premature common seal

On Monday 20 May we received a call from a lady who had come across a small seal pup while walking her dog on a remote beach in Western Scotland. The pup was all alone on the sand, it was very small and unresponsive to her and her dog. The lady called BDMLR as soon as she got home and sent photos of the pup to our rescue coordinator, the photos showed a premature common seal pup, probably no more than a couple of days old. 

Common seals are usually born without the white coat (lanugo) which grey seals have, this enables them to take to the water within hours of birth, often piggy backing on mum. Advice was given to the finder to monitor the pup for the next few hours from a safe distance and to keep out of sight in case the mother was nearby. The first few days of a seal’s life are critical and knowing how far away the nearest rescue centre was, we started to make arrangements to pick the pup up if no adult was seen. 

Our nearest available Medic was two and a half hours away so that allowed time to make sure that the pup wasn’t being looked after, on their arrival no adult had been seen so the pup was picked up and taken to a vet for a health assessment and vital fluids. The pup then had a further three and a half hours journey to the Scottish SPCA National Wildlife Centre, where it will be cared for along with other common seals once the season starts. Common (harbour) seals are usually born in June and July, so this pup is very early and therefore will have a long journey through rehab ahead of it. 

Update: ‘Blenny’ weighed 6.75kg on arrival at the Scottish SPCA National Wildlife Centre and is being treated with antibiotics for mild pneumonia, and is having glucose with his fluids as he is hypoglycaemic. 

Thank you to Diane Auty for reporting the pup to our rescue hotline and monitoring it for several hours, Dalriada Vets in Lochgilphead, our volunteer Medics Liana and Logan, and the Scottish SPCA National Wildlife Centre.

📷 Diane Auty