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Edward & Vivienne 2 Musk Turtles in need of a home
To become an Angel Pen Pal sponsor and support the many animals in our care please download an Angel Pen Pal Sponsor form by clicking here.To donate to Bonnie the grey seal pup please call 01481 257261, pop along to the Animal Shelter in St Andrews, by post or by clicking the link below.
8 days on and Bonnie the seal pup is doing better than we coul...
8 days on and Bonnie the seal pup is doing better than we could have hoped http://www.gspca.org.gg/blog/10-days-and-bonnie-seal-pup-doing-better-we-could-have-hopedPosted by GSPCA on Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Some facts about Grey Seals -
The grey seal (Halichoerus grypus, meaning "hooked-nosed sea pig") is found on both shores of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is a large seal of the family Phocidae or "true seals". It is the only species classified in the genus Halichoerus. Its name is spelled gray seal in the US; it is also known as Atlantic grey seal and the horsehead seal
Grey seal adults may be up to 2.5 metres in length and weigh up to 250kg, with males tending to be larger than females.
Previous seal pups rescued Jethou Bumblebee was 17kg on entry and Hanois 20kg, Eden 18kg and Trinity 15kg which was less than half the 40kg they should have been for their age with Bonnie only 14kg.
Male grey seals reach sexual maturity at 6 years, Females at 3 to 5 years and the latter give birth to their pups in the Autumn and early Winter.
Typically the first British pups are born off the Scillies and Cornwall in August and September and the time of pupping is progressively later as you move clockwise around the British Isles, the latest pups being born off the east coast of Scotland in late December.
All seal pups rescued locally were born early November to late December.
At, birth, grey seal pups weigh about 13 kg. and are covered in long, creamy white hair. A bond is formed between mother and pup at birth, and a mother can recognise her pup from its call and smell. For the first 3 weeks of their lives, pups rarely swim, suckling from their mothers 5 to 6 times a day, for up to 10 minutes at a time. The mothers milk is rich in fat and the pups rapidly put on weight.
The seal pups rescued have all been around two to three weeks when they were brought into the GSPCA.
The mother tends to remain just offshore between suckling bouts and rarely feeds, losing up to a quarter of her body weight before her pup is weaned.
Grey seal pups are weaned after losing their baby coat at 3 to 4 weeks of age. At this point, they weigh 40 to 50 kg; three times their birth weight.
The pups live off these fat reserves whilst learning to feed, which may take several weeks.
The adult females which are called cows become fertile soon after weaning their pups, mating with the adult males which are called bulls, who hold territories during the breeding season and may mate with over half a dozen cows.
Mating can take place on land or in water and pregnancy last for 11.5 months, there being a period of 3.5 months when the fertilised embryo does not attached to the wall of the uterus and its development is arrested ("delayed implantation"). As a result, pups are born at the same time each year. Grey seals moult annually in the spring, 3 to 5 months, after the end of the breeding season. In the wild, males may live for about 25 years, females for about 35 years.
We will of course keep you up to date with Bonnie's progress and keep your eyes open for pictures and videos.
If anyone see's a pup with or without a mum we really do appreciate a call so that we are aware of its location and condition but here is some advice.
A healthy pup looks like a big, stuffed maggot without a neck. However, a thin pup looks sleek (but not bony) and has a visible neck, like a healthy dog.
PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THE SEAL. They can give a nasty bite, which will become infected by bacteria that live in a seal’s mouths.
Note: Do not allow dogs or other animals to harass a seal.
If a Seal is scared back into the water, it could then be washed out to sea by strong currents and be lost. You should not put a seal pup back in the sea as it may get into difficulty.
If a Seal pup is sick, thin or injured then we would ask you to contact the GSPCA immediately on 01481 257261 day or night
When reporting an injured, sick or abandoned seal to the GSPCA, please make sure you are able to supply the following information:
- Exact location; nearest town / village
- Position on the beach, and state of the tide
- How long you have observed the pup; any disturbance / risk to it; whether the mother has been seen
- Any wounds / obvious signs of illness
Caution:- Handling of any animal either domestic, wild, dead or alive may be potentially hazardous. Obvious dangers include bites, scratches and general hygiene issues. Common sense should be applied in all instances and, if unsure, seek additional advice or assistance. Personal hygiene should be taken into consideration after handling any animal, whether it’s domestic, wild, dead or alive.
To see some of the previous stories follow the links below
Seal Rescue to Save Jethou Bumblebee 25th November 2012
Hanois the grey seal pup rescued on Saturday by GSPCA staff 7th January 2013
The Rescue of Trinity the Seal Pup 9th January 2014
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