Cornwall

Beachgoers in Cornwall mistakenly put seal pup in danger

One week old seal pup, Snoozy Image copyright Delia Webb
Image caption One-week-old seal pup Snoozy was put back into the sea at Portheras Cove in Cornwall

Beachgoers mistakenly put a seal pup in danger by "forcing" him back into the sea after thinking he had been abandoned.

Marine medics were called out twice on Sunday to assess one-week-old Snoozy at Portheras Cove, Cornwall.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) said it is normal for pups to remain on dry land to conserve energy.

"The mother goes out to feed so the pup looks like it has been abandoned", Dave Jarvis said.

A local conservation group, the Friends of Portheras Cove, said: "This little fellow has suffered terribly by being harassed by beachgoers at Portheras who have kept forcing him back into the water."

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Image copyright Delia Webb
Image caption Snoozy was forced back into the sea by beachgoers in Cornwall

Grey seal pups spend most of their time on land at this time of year and their mothers come out of the sea to feed them, BDMLR said.

The organisation said similar incidents happen across the country during pupping season, from September to February, and their advice is to leave seal pups like Snoozy alone.

Mr Jarvis said: "The pup has a smell that the mother has given it so that's the way the mother detects it."

"If it gets an alien smell from a dog or a human or something else touching it then the smell changes and the mother will then reject it and the pup has been abandoned."

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