Young, recently weaned pups (called a weaner) get in all sorts of funny places and the other week Carrie found one stuck in a cleft near to the Island wreck on the east side. It is hard to see from the photo but the cleft was steep on all sides and though seals are able to climb better than you think this one was not going anywhere without help. After a bit of planning tactics, Carrie and I plunged in, Carrie on distraction detail with me on the flipper end (away from the sharp end), and after a bit of a struggle managed to pull the weaner out backwards. It had lost a bit of weight (its skin seemed a size too big) but otherwise was fine and shuffled off happily, another seal to the total produced by the island.
And what is the grey seal pup total for 2013 for the Isle of May? Well we don’t know yet. On the Isle of May we get our pup totals from the Sea Mammal Research Unit who fly aerial photography flights, photographing the island 3 or 4 times during the breeding season. In these photos the white pups stand out clearly so analysis of the photos will give a yearly total. This method causes no disturbance to the Mum’s and so removes the dangers of the Mother’s abandoning their pups.