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Warning to dog walkers after seal pup drowns on Welsh coast

08 Sep 2022 2 minute read
Photo by Andrew Pescod is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Dog walkers are being warned to keep their distance from wildlife after a seal pup drowned on the west Wales coast on Monday.

During the breeding season (September and October) you may come across white fluffy seal pups on beaches or rocky outcrops along the Welsh coast – often on their own. 

The mother however will probably be close by, so it is vital to keep your distance so she can return to her pup to feed it.

On Monday September 5, a seal pup drowned off New Quay, Ceredigion which may be the result of disturbance by dog walkers. 

The pup was seen with a female at New Quay’s Dolau beach early in the morning, and dog walkers were advised to keep their distance. 

The seals left the beach and the pup was next seen in the water by the steps at the end of the harbour wall where it was seen at the surface a couple of times before submerging and not resurfacing, presumed drowned.

Give them space

Melanie Heath, Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) officer for Cardigan Bay said: “Seal pups need space and time to rest and grow, they are fed by their mothers’ for just three weeks before they have to fend for themselves. 

“It is vital that during this time they are given space. Disturbance can lead to abandonment and death.”

Councillor Clive Davies, cabinet member for Economy and Regeneration said: “It is very important to remember that these beautiful iconic creatures are wild animals so I urge everyone to follow our Ceredigion Marine Code and keep a distance to enjoy from afar. 

“We are also warning dog owners to keep their dogs away from beaches where seal pups are resting and growing.”

Ceredigion’s Marine Code may be found here.

Information regarding seal pups may be found here.

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