On a recent sit for my client, The Plaidy Lady, I took her two labs for their usual lunchtime empty to the seashore and came face to face with a seal pup. I was far more surprised by its presence than it seemed to be by mine. I curtailed my canine charges walk and dragged the disgruntled pair up the beach where I could observe the marine mammal at a safe distance. The seal pup looked tiny, too young to be on its own! I got out my mobile and wondered who I should call. The screen told me I could only contact the emergency services. The dogs shuffled about restlessly as I dialled 999 and asked for the coastguard hoping that I wouldn’t get a rocket for wasting their time. They turned out to be very helpful, telling me that they would inform the British Divers Marine Life Rescue office of the situation. So I moved a little closer to the pup, it was looking rather listless and waited for someone who looked like they might know a thing or two about rescuing marine life to turn up.

It wasn’t long before I was joined by a middle-aged couple out for a stroll and then a few more people, intrigued, sauntered over to stand with us in a semi-circle around the seal. I shuffled me feet in the sand to keep warm and exchanged pleasantries with the others until a thoughtful chap from one of the nearby properties turned up with a flask of tea for us.

Time seemed to pass slowly as we waited for a volunteer from the BDML to arrive and assist the stricken creature. Eventually a four-by-four pulled up on the slipway. A jovial looking gentleman jumped out of the vehicle slinging a large yellow sack over his shoulder and strode purposely towards the pup where he proceeded to throw a large towel over the prone animal. The tiny scrap of life was so exhausted that it didn’t even struggle. We stood about watching, fascinated, as Geoff tube fed the badly dehydrated pup, weighed it and then, the ignominy, used a rectal thermometer to take its temperature!

Geoff told us that although the pup was weaned it was obviously not thriving and would to be taken to Gweek Seal Sanctuary where it would be checked over and cared for until it was strong enough to be returned to the wild. So off went little Jubilee, all the foundlings that month were given names beginning with J, in the back of the four-by-four to recuperate with the other rescued sea creatures picked-up from along the coast after the recent turbulent weather!

Advertisements