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Seal pup in West Wales cliff top rescue

Female pup now in rehabilitation after being spotted 50 metres up.

A young seal has found herself in quite an unusual predicament - on top of a 50 metre high sea cliff

A member of the public spotted the seal at at Abercastle in Pembrokeshire and called the RSPCA

RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) Ellie West said:

“We walked quite a way along the coastal path onto the cliff top where we found the seal pup that is estimated to be just over a month old.

“She has a thin body condition and has various puncture wounds to her body. This was quite an unusual place to find a seal as she must have travelled some distance and up a steep incline to get there.

“The only place she could of got out of the sea is where there was a gully further down the coastal path towards the village and she must have then come up the steep incline where there’s a very small gully type of slope/natural guttering next to some steep steps on the coastal path. She must have squeezed her way through the gully type area next to the steps. However she got there, she was very much lost and unsure where she was going.”

The seal was transferred to Welsh Marine Life Rescue (WMLR) and has now been taken to RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich for rehabilitation. At the centre she was found to be just over 14kg - which means she was very underweight for her age. She had also lost her fluffy white coat called lanugo and had been weaned from mum.

Ellie added:

“Rescuing wildlife like this injured seal is a huge part of the RSPCA’s work in Wales, and we’re just pleased to have been able to help this distressed animal. This seal pup had quite an adventure - and must be exhausted and very distressed from her travels up to the cliff top. 

“At our wildlife centre the pup will be given all the necessary rehabilitation to become fit and well for release.”

The RSPCA has urged members of the public not to chase or move seals found on the beach into the water – as it is highly likely they have "headed to the beach for a reason” and are in need of help.

Ideally, lone seal pups looking fit and healthy should be monitored from a safe distance for 24 hours. If a seal pup is injured or in distress, the RSPCA's 24-hour emergency line should be contacted on 0300 1234 999.

Ellie continued:

“It's not unusual to see a seal pup by itself, as their mothers will leave the pups alone very early on in life,” said Ellie. “If you find a seal pup that looks fit and healthy and shows no signs of distress, monitor it first from a safe distance for 24 hours. 


“However, if the mother doesn’t return after 24 hours or the pup appears distressed, injured or unwell, or is on a busy public beach, our 24-hour emergency line can be reached on 0300 1234 999. Please always stay at a safe distance and keep dogs well away - seals can have a very nasty bite.”

For more information about what to do if you’re concerned about a seal pup, please visit the RSPCA’s website.

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