Friday, 10 May 2013

Grey seal strands near Beachy Head

The following is taken from a press statement from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) & East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS). 

May 2013. A seal was reported on the beach on Sunday 28th April to the east of the Hope Gap Steps, which are located just west of the Cuckmere Haven at Seaford in Sussex. The initial report was of a healthy seal sunning itself. 

A second report came in half an hour later reporting a 4ft seal injured on the beach with blood on its rear flippers. WRAS attended on site after speaking to BDMLR's out-of-hours co-ordinator. On arrival we found Sussex Police on site due to concerns for public safety. We were rather surprised to find a 7ft long 250kg adult grey seal which do not normally haul out on the East Sussex coast line. The seal was also a long way from the tide and had hauled out at the high tide mark which is unusual for an adult. 

Unable to get a vet on site Sunday night, the seal was monitored until dark for the animal's and public's safety, and volunteer medics returned at first light on 29th April. After a search of the area, the seal was found a quarter of a mile to the west of the steps at Hope Gap. The location was even more problematic and difficult to get to. The vet could not get to the site before the tide came back in. 

Staff from WRAS returned a couple of hours after high tide to start searching for the seal which was now so high up the beach it was at first missed. Alan Knight of BDMLR arrived on site with a vet and nurse from Beachwood Vets in Seaford. The seal was clearly ill; an unusually prominent pelvis showed that it was well underweight; the eyes showed signs of cataracts; and the seal was allowing people to go close enough to touch it as its vision was so poor. 

There were numerous abrasions and wounds from the rocks from where it had hauled out each time. There was no chance of rehabilitation. This is not the same seal as has been seen in the local rivers recently. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails