If you find a seal pup that looks FIT AND HEALTHY and it shows no signs of distress, you may consider monitoring it from a safe distance for 24 hours. Unfortunately, too many seal pups get taken into captivity because people think they have been abandoned. If the mother does not return within 24 hours, we would ask you to contact our 24-hour cruelty and advice line 0300 1234 999.
A healthy pup looks like a big, stuffed maggot without a neck. However, a thin pup looks sleek (but not bony) and has a visible neck, like a healthy dog.
PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THE SEAL. They can give a nasty bite, which will become infected by bacteria that live in a seal’s mouths.
Note: Do not allow dogs or other animals to harass a seal.
If a seal is scared back into the water, it could then be washed out to sea by strong currents and be lost. You should not put a seal pup back in the sea as it may get into difficulty.
If a seal pup is sick, thin or injured then we would ask you to contact our 24-hour cruelty and advice line 0300 1234 999.
When reporting an injured, sick or abandoned seal to our cruelty and advice line, make sure you are able to supply the following information:
- Exact location; nearest town / village
- Position on the beach, and state of the tide
- How long you have observed the pup; any disturbance / risk to it; whether the mother has been seen
- Any wounds / obvious signs of illness
Caution:- Handling of any animal either domestic, wild, dead or alive may be potentially hazardous. Obvious dangers include bites, scratches and general hygiene issues. Common sense should be applied in all instances and, if unsure, seek additional advice or assistance. Personal hygiene should be taken into consideration after handling any animal, whether it’s domestic, wild, dead or alive.
For more information on wild animals found alone, visit our page on orphaned wild animals.