Seal pup's beach visit

VIDEO THESE photographs are sure to get the seal of approval from George Ellis' friends.

THESE photographs are sure to get the seal of approval from George Ellis' friends.

The plucky 11-year-old is worried that his mates will not believe what he saw as he took a walk along the beach at Bawdsey Quay with his father.

George and his dad, Ian Wilson, spotted the common seal pup resting on the beach.

They took pictures and continued on with their walk but an hour later, on their return, it was still there.

That night Mr Wilson, of Bugsby Way, Kesgrave, phoned the RSPCA who advised him that it was quite normal for the pups to rest on shore while the mother remains in the sea.

The officer advised him that if the seal moved when he got close, it meant it was not injured or sick.

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The following day, Mr Wilson, 39, returned to the same spot and it immediately made its way back into the sea, which he caught on his camera phone.

He said: “We were out for a nice walk around Bawdesy Quay on Sunday when we found a seal on the beach. It was only a young one and it looked a bit lost.

“George loved it. He is taking the pictures in to show his friends at school but is worried they will think he has 'photoshopped' it.”

Tony Wooderson from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, based in Woodbridge, said: “It could be that the mother was watching the baby from the water. Often the mother remains in the sea to feed.

“It is best for people not interfere if they see a seal, especially if they have dogs as this could lead to cross viruses. Mothers leave their pups after a fortnight to fend for themselves.

“It looks about three to four weeks old. It should be about six to eight weeks old though as the pupping is normally in July and August. It looks undernourished.”

nIf you want advice on what to do if you see a mammal in distress, visit www.bdmlr.org.uk, call BDMLR on 01825 765546 or the RSPCA on 0870 5555 999

Have you an interesting mammal story to tell? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Sightings of common seal pups are not very frequent - it depends on the location and time of year

Pups weigh ten to 11kg at birth and are approximately 85cm long.

Common seal pups are nearly always accompanied by their mothers, both on land and in the sea, during the first two weeks of life. In the second half of lactation, they may be left while their mothers feed.

Pups are weaned abruptly at 21-30 days (weighing 20 to 30kg). They may lose up to one quarter of their bodyweight at weaning while they learn to feed.

They generally pup between June and July. Breeding and haul out sites tend to be estuaries, sand banks, sheltered rocky shores and shingle beaches.