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Look Out For Seal Pups As Birthing Season Starts

Islanders are being asked to report any sightings of young grey seals on Bailiwick coastlines.

Every autumn grey seal pups are born on local shores and rough seas can separate the youngsters from their mothers.

Steve Byrne from the GSPCA says they should not be approached and dogs should be kept under control:

"Thankfully the weather has been very pleasant recently but as we move closer to the winter we often see rough seas which can separate seal mothers from their pups. We have rescued young grey seals from as early as October and November and it's important if you are out and about that you do not approach them. As cute as they look they can give you a nasty bite. But more importantly if your dog tries to approach them then they can scare the mothers off which means the pup could be abandoned."

Steve says there has been a steady increase in the seal numbers seen around Guernsey:

"If you speak to the tour guides they report that 30 or 40 can be seen in some spots around our shores, which is great for the seal population as is also a good indicator of how healthy our waters are with fish stocks.

"Every year we see a number of seal pups born but we do need to make sure they are safe and cared for and we're here if any are at risk. If anyone sees a sick or healthy pup please do give us a call at the shelter because it's nice to know where the pups are and make sure they are okay. We check them from a distance to make sure mum pops back.

"For those that don't know, a healthy pup looks like a big, stuffed maggot without a neck. However, a thin pup looks sleek, not necessarily bony and has a visible neck, like a healthy dog. If a Seal pup is sick, thin or injured then contact the GSPCA on 01481 257261 day or night"

Steve asks that when reporting please make sure you are able to supply the exact location, position on the beach and state of the tide.

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