Wednesday 7th November comments: The seal colonies on the Isle of may are now action packed with plenty going on. Whilst attention focuses on the pups, we also take our hats off to the mothers who work hard to raise their pups at this time of year.
Female Grey Seals are called cows (males are bulls) and weigh about 25 stone and can live for over 30 years. They give birth to a single pup between mid-September- and mid-December on the Isle of May. They’ll wean their pups for 18-21 days and although the pup gains almost 3lbs per day, the mother will lose about 6lbs per day (they look thin at the end of the lactation period having lost almost a quarter of their body weight).
Once the pup is independent, the cows mate soon after on the colonies although have a delayed implantation and won’t become pregnant again until the new year. At that stage the job is done and the mothers can return to the open sea to feed and put on those valuable pounds ready for the winter ahead. Who said raising a pup was easy?