If you’re in Ireland, this is the time of year in which you might come across some adorable baby grey seals.
Usually, This Week In Zoology features strange and sometimes hilarious facts about animals. This time, however, I thought I’d help the Irish Wildlife Trust spread a few facts about what to do if you run across a seal pup on the shores.
Many people don’t realize that seal pups are supposed to be on the shores. They’re not stranded, and so if you see one, don’t try to put it back in the water. You can observe it from afar, take as many pictures as you like, but don’t try to approach it, touch it, or let your dog anywhere near it. While the “common knowledge” that touching a baby bird will make it’s mother abandon it is a myth, it can happen with baby seals, so please don’t handle it.
If, on the other hand, the seal pup looks sick, injured or is completely unattended by its mother, you can contact Seal Rescue Ireland for help. They have a very helpful infographic on their website as well, which lets you know what an unhealthy or injured seal pup actually looks like.
Even if you are not in Ireland, these rules generally apply to all seals, so if you do run across one on your morning stroll down the coast, now you know what to do, when to be concerned, and when to just snap a picture and leave them be.