Every year many grey seal pups get washed up onto our shores in the winter storms, too young to fend for themselves or injured in some way. The RSPCA’s West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Taunton has some of the best wildlife rehabilitation facilities in the country, however due to the closure of Milford Haven Seal Sanctuary in Wales earlier in 2014 they were expecting more seal pup admissions than usual that winter and their resources were limited. We were approached to act as their overflow after the seals initial health checks and rehabilitation had taken place at the centre and this would give them much needed space. Once here at the park, the seal pups were to be ‘fattened’ up to their target weight before being released on Combe Martin Beach.
Our arrangement with West Hatch continued throughout the winter months and we looked after and released many seal pups back into the sea from Combe Martin. These seal pups have all been tagged so their progress can be monitored over the years. We feel privileged to have played a small part in the conservation of grey seal pups which are the third rarest species of seal in the world and we continue to do this every winter, but we are on standby to assist at any time.