Over the past 10-14, days we have seen an increasing number of seals hauling out on UK beaches, there are a few reasons for this but one of the most obvious one, is that with less boat traffic and fewer people around, the seals are coming closer in to shore and taking advantage of the empty beaches. On the South East coast of England, Hampshire and West Sussex have seen four adult male grey seals turning up almost daily over this period, spread out over four locations.
Three of the seals have got minor injuries which are most likely fight injuries inflicted by other male seals during the last mating season. The wounds are healing nicely and are not considered to be severe. The fourth seal was not injured but just resting on the beach, a common seal was also observed in the area at the same time. Richard Edwards of AlphaPet Veterinary Clinics has been to check on all four seals and will continue to help BDMLR and the RSPCA as further calls about these animals are received.
At this time of year, grey seals are going through their annual moult, shedding of year-old fur and growth of new fur. During this time, the seals spend more time on land becoming lethargic and can lose some weight, after the moult is finished they will usually return to sea. Although the seals may seem unresponsive, if approached too closely they can react very quickly and can cause injury to people or dogs.
If you do see a seal lying on the beach, please keep a safe distance away, put dogs on leads and avoid spending too long near the animal.