Seal pup twister at Stapeley Grange RSPCA centre in Nantwich

An injured seal pup, thought to have been attacked by a dog, is recovering at Stapeley Grange RSPCA centre in Nantwich after being rescued from a beach in North Wales.

The dehydrated and underweight male pup was found by a member of British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) last Friday (24 September).

He had several puncture wounds on his back, which are thought to be consistent with a dog attack.

The lively pup, nicknamed ‘Twister’, was initially taken to Anglesey Sea Zoo, where he was treated and fed, before being transferred to Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre the following day.

The incident has led the RSPCA to reiterate its warning to dog owners to keep their dogs away from seal pups.

Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange on London Road, said: “Dog walkers should always be vigilant if they walk their dogs near seal hotspots on the Wales coast, especially at this time of year during pupping season.

“Considering his ordeal, Twister is doing well and he’s pretty lively, which is a good sign.

“We are tube feeding him initially, and he’ll then move on to herring soup before we start giving him whole fish.

“He’ll be with us for around three or months as he only weighs 14.5kg and he will need to get to around 40kg before he is released back into the wild.”

Twister will spend the next few weeks in isolation and once feeding for himself will head out to one of Stapeley’s outside pools with other orphaned seal pups.

He will spend the final few weeks of his rehabilitation at Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay, which has larger pools, before he is returned to the wild.

At this time of the year, grey seal cows (females) are very susceptible to disturbance when they are with their offspring on beaches.

If they are disturbed they are likely to move away from the pup into the sea and may not return to feed it.

Ideally, lone seal pups looking fit and healthy should be monitored from a safe distance for 24 hours.

If a seal pup is injured or in distress, the mother has not returned after 24 hours, or is on a busy public beach, the RSPCA’s emergency line should be contacted on 0300 1234 999.

For more information about what to do if you’re concerned about a seal pup, visit the RSPCA’s website.

(Image and video courtesy of RSPCA Stapeley Grange)

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