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Premature seal pup found stranded on the beach at Sandwich Bay

A tiny premature seal pup has been rescued off Sandwich Bay after becoming separated from its mother.

A passer-by found the mammal at about 7pm on Sunday and when the alarm was raised for the Coastguard, a team already dealing with an unexploded bomb on the beach, appeared straight away to help.

Tiny seal pup found at Sandwich Bay
Tiny seal pup found at Sandwich Bay

Coastguard Michelle Spain, a marine mammal medic for the area, was on hand to check the 8.7kg pup.

It still had the umbilical cord attached and a white, long haired coat called the lanugo, which seals usually lose before they are born.

There was no sign of the seal’s mother so it was passed to Lyn Griffiths, a co-ordinator for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

She said: “She hasn’t lost a lot of weight and she was very noisy and very wriggly and not at all unresponsive.

“Sometimes you find a seal and it is completely unresponsive and then you need to worry.

“We took her to RSPCA Mallydams and now they’ve got to try to do the job of her mum, but last I heard she was doing well.”

Premature seal pup
Premature seal pup

Ms Griffiths explained that they find about six stranded seals a year and in her eight-year career, only three of them have died.

She believes the pup could have come from the common seal colony at Goodwin Sands or the small colony on the River Stour, near Sandwich.

The seal was taken to Mallydams Wood RSPCA centre at Fairlight, where it will be kept until she is able to feed for herself and weighs at least 35kg, before being released back to the wild.

A seal pup separated from its mother was rescued from the beach at Sandwich Bay
A seal pup separated from its mother was rescued from the beach at Sandwich Bay

BDMLR are holding an open day course for anyone interested in becoming a co-ordinator.

The national charity, which is run by volunteers, is always on the look out for more helpers.

The open day will be held at Dover Sea Sports Centre on Sunday, September 21.

For more information visit the website at www.bdmlr.org.uk

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