Seal Pup Rescued From Golf Course At St Helens Duver

Seal pup is found on the golf course and taken to RSPCA in Godshill to be warmed up and checked over.

Many thanks to Stephen for sharing news of this baby seal, found at St Helens Duver. Ed

This female, less than one week old Common Seal pup has been spotted today by members of the public on the golf course at St Helens Duver. Luckily it has been found uninjured, despite dog presence and a road crossing.

Thanks to the swift response of the Bembrige Harbour Master and his crew, British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) has been informed and Nigel Dove (Isle of Wight BDMLR Area Coordinator and Marine Mammal Medic), Sandra Dove (BDMLR MMM), Dave Evans (Isle of Wight BDMLR Assistant Area Coordinator and MMM) and Stephan Voigt (Isle of Wight BDMLR Assistant Area Coordinator and MMM) attended the scene and took care of the lost animal.

Transferred to RSPCAAfter a quick analysis of the situation, the decision has been made to transfer the animal temporarily to the local RSPCA Godshill Animal Centre in Merstone for a further in depth assessment.

As the pup has been obviously separated from his mum, most likely due to some sort of human interference, chances for a successful reunification of mother and pup would have been very slim, in particular as the pup has been found inland and her mother was not seen to be close enough to this area, complicated by weather, tide, presence of dogs and humans as well as harbour traffic.

Treated and checked over
Based on this scenario the best course of action was to administer first aid by warming the animal up, transferring it transferred quickly to Merstone, where it has been checked over again, received fluids for rehydration and has been treated for a minor local infection.

Another big thank you goes to the local RSPCA Godshill Animal Centre team for all their help, in particular for organising the immediate transport to the RSPCA Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre in West Sussex, where the animal will be cared for until it is old and mature enough to be released back into the wild.

What to do if you find a seal
Please note, if you find a live seal, please watch it from a distance. Do not approach the animal.

Seals regularly haul out on our coasts – it is part of their normal behaviour. Therefore, finding a seal on the beach does not mean there is necessarily a problem. A healthy seal should be left well alone.

However, if you see a seal that may be abandoned, thin or ill, then call for advice and assistance:

BDMLR hotline: 01825 765546 (office hours) or 07787 433412 (out of hours)
RSPCA hotline (England & Wales): 0300 1234 999
SSPCA hotline (Scotland): 03000 999 999

Sunday, 15th July, 2012 4:02pm



Filed under: Community, St Helens

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. Mason Watch

    15.Jul.2012 8:40pm

    Mum and pup were in the harbour together mid last week……around Attrills Boatyard.

  2. Sailor Sam

    17.Jul.2012 12:24am

    Has an attempt been made to find mum?

  3. mark francis

    17.Jul.2012 12:26am

    When was there last a golf course on St Helen’s Duver ?

  4. It’s nice to see the pup on a good condition. But he needs to be return to his natural habitat.

  5. Stephan Voigt

    17.Jul.2012 6:33pm

    The mother of the seal pup has been spotted the day before (together with pup according to members of the public) and presumedly on the day (by trained British Divers Marine Life Rescue Marine Mammal Medics) near Bembridge Harbour, before the pup was found away from the beach inland several hours later.

    No attempt has been made to reunite presumed mother and pup, as in our experience it is very unlikely, that firstly the mother would have accepted the pup again, and secondly we would have successfully managed to get them together to even attempt to reunite both. The mother would not have come close enough to us (and the pup) to make useful contact. To put the pup back onto the beach would have been the death sentence, as the pup would not have been in easy reach for us anymore, if we would have needed to interfere. Other reasons were tidal conditions, weather, the presence of several dogs and members of the public not in control of their dogs, the busy harbour entrance etc. Please note, that the pup was already dehydrated and hypothermic as well. The decision has been made jointly by our local Isle of Wight BDMLR MMM team and the UK BDMLR Veterinary Coordinator.

    You might like to hear, that the latest update (17/07/2012) from the RSPCA Mallydams Woods Rehab Centre team is, that the pup is doing well. It is still on antibiotics for prophylactic reasons (umbilical cord infection), but it is already enjoying its fish soup. It still has some time to spend in the Rehab Centre, as it will have to reach at least 25kg body weight, before it can be released back into the wild, preferably back into the Hayling Island seal colony, if possible.

    Stephan Voigt (Isle of Wight BDMLR Assistant Area Coordinator and Marine Mammal Medic

    PS: The name of the place the pup has been found has been given to me by IoW locals, so I am sorry, if this is incorrect, as I am not born here.

  6. Stephan Voigt

    21.Jul.2012 9:20pm

    Latest update (21/07/2012) from RSPCA Mallydams Wood Rehabilitation Centre:

    “Unfortunately our little seal suddenly took a turn for the worse on Friday and the Vet thought it was kinder to put her down. These very small newborn pups can develop complications at any time in the rehabilitation process.”

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