UK & World News

  • 8 December 2013, 15:40

Seals Reunited With Mothers After Tidal Surge

Rescue teams have been working around-the-clock in a bid to reunite seal pups that became separated from their mothers after a tidal surge hit the east coast of Britain.

It had been feared that many of the youngsters in Norfolk, not yet mature enough to survive alone, had perished in the high tides which deluged shorelines on Thursday and Friday.

At one breeding ground in Horsey, where grey seals come ashore to give birth between November and January, volunteers counted 440 pups on the beach before the surge and only 177 after it hit.

However, hundreds have been found alive and well, and a major effort is being made to reunite as many as possible with their mothers.

Ben Kirby from the RSPCA told Sky News' Rachel Younger: "There was certainly an issue straight after the surge, they disappeared from the colony where they would normally be and reappeared here.

"And the good news gets even better, because the mums are starting to find most of them again, and they are reunited themselves."

The young pups cannot swim or survive without their mother's milk until they have shed their distinctive white fur.

Members of the public are now being urged to stay away from seals and pups, as the mothers will not search for their young if people are around.

Mr Kirby added: "We are careful not to get involved too much. We are removing the sick and injured and the very young who haven't found their mums.

"The key really now is to try and make sure the older pups are safe, away from the public and their dogs, and that the mums can find them again."

Anyone finding a seal is urged to only make contact with the RSPCA if it is injured or visibly in distress by calling 0300 1234999.

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