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2:52pm 2nd October 2014
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary takes in its first rescue pup of the season.
Welfare teams are urging us to report any sightings or injuries.
Almost 70 were brought to the centre in Gweek last year, which is more than usual.
Spokeswoman Tamara Cooper tells Pirate FM the winter storms made things worse.
She is worried they could have an impact on future breeding areas: "What we were worried about last year was the erosion to the cliffs around the breeding beaches, and obviously if there is lots of rain in particular and lots of storm damage to the cliffs then the breeding beaches are getting pelted with stones and debris coming down from the cliffs.
"Really high seas, we had really high tides that were washing the pups off their breeding beaches and then they were getting separated from their mums, and the other thing was all the wind, that meant the sea conditions were much rougher than usual so the pups were getting dashed against the rocks in sort of a washing machine."
Four things you can do to help if you find a seal pup:
1) Mums usually give birth on secluded beaches or in caves, but if you do come across a ‘whitecoat’ pup on a beach then please keep your distance! Nearby humans and dogs will easily scare the mother away, abandoning the pup before it can fend for itself.
2) Mums come back to feed their pup every 4 to 6 hours and may not always be obvious so, as above, don’t approach and encourage others to do the same. If the mum doesn’t think its safe to return then she probably won’t come back.
3) Seal pups finding their way around the coast in their first few weeks will sometimes come out to rest in public places, so try not to disturb them as they may be exhausted.
4) If you do find a pup that is injured or that you are otherwise concerned about then please call your local animal rescue service, RSPCA hospital or Sanctuary for help.
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