THE WEATHER over the past week has caused problems for Grey Seal pups across the west coast – with a total of 17 potential problem pups being reported and monitored by British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) Outer Hebrides.
Many of the pups have been successfully returned to sea, but one unfortunate pup that had sustained what appeared to be bite marks was not so lucky.
A member of the public found the pup on a Lewis beach and contacted BDMLR member Sandy MacDonald, who had medics on the island monitor, and eventually intervene and capture the pup.
Given antibiotics and hydrated, the pup started a long journey to a new home; and after crossing the Minch on the ferry, was met and transferred via Ullapool and Inverness BDMLR medics before being collected by the Scottish SPCA and taken to their rescue centre in Alloa.
Although tired, the pup appeared to be stable and will hopefully be released back into the wild in due course.
Funding restraints have put pressure on the feasibility of localised centres in the Highlands, despite this area accounting for some of the largest numbers of the UK seal population and breeding sites.
This does however emphasis the importance of the work of charities such as BDMLR that provide training and support for people throughout the UK, so as to be able to identify and deal with injured and stranded marine mammals such as seals, dolphins and whales.
At this time of year people are asked to be vigilant for grey seal pups along the coast of Scotland and if they think an animal is in trouble or has stranded, they are asked to contact BDMLR on 01825 765546 or the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999999.
Anyone interested in training to become a Marine Mammal Medic with the BDMLR should check-out the website at www.bdmlr.org.uk where they will find information about training courses and details about the group and how to help.