Seal Reports – June 2016

If Swallows are the sign of spring then perhaps Harbour Seal pups should be the sign of summer.  The first is usually born at Teesmouth in the third week in June, more or less around the first day of summer.   So we are pleased to announce that one of our voluntary seal monitors recorded the first Harbour Seal pup of the year on the 19th June, exactly the same date as the first pup last year.   Pupping usually extends over about 3 weeks and hopefully this will be the first of many.  As the numbers of seals in the estuary last year were the highest since the seal monitoring programme began in 1989, it will be interesting to see if number of pups born this year follows the same trend.

Harbour Seals are unique among seals in that the pups can swim within an hour of being born.  For the first two to three weeks after birth the mother seal keeps in very close contact with the pup both in and out of the water but after that the young seals can be seen on their own.  At this time it may appear as if the young seal is injured or ill but often they are just resting.  If however you do come across a young seal on land that does give cause for concern then click here to seek advice on what to do and if necessary who to contact.