Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Grey seal pup rescues in Scotland on the rise

Galaxy the seal
Image caption Galaxy the seal is one of 34 grey seal pups that were rescued in November

The number of sick and injured grey seal pups being rescued in Scotland is on the rise, according to an animal charity.

The Scottish SPCA said it rescued 34 seals in November - 50% more than in the same month last year.

The animal welfare charity is currently caring for 23 juvenile grey seals at its wildlife rescue centre in Fife.

They are all youngsters who have been found underweight, dehydrated and weak or distressed.

The latest addition is Atlantis, a four-week old seal pup who was found weak and starving on a beach in St Andrews on Sunday.

'Bashed against rocks'

Colin Seddon, of the Scottish SPCA, said: "It's hard to pinpoint one specific reason why there's been such an increase in grey seals coming into our care this year.

"Several of the pups we've rescued have been washed off their birthing grounds by stormy weather and have arrived with various injuries as a result of being bashed against rocks."

Others had been found in distress, often underweight, dehydrated and weak.

"We've had a handful in who have simply been away from their mother for too long, possibly because they've been moved or disturbed by well-meaning members of the public, resulting in the mother abandoning them," he added.

"We hope to be able to return them back to the wild when they are fully recovered and ready to fend for themselves."

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