Seal pup rescued

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A seal pup has been rescued after it became trapped in a six foot deep hole at Douglas breakwater.

The young pup had fallen into a hole between concrete blocks at the breakwater on Sunday afternoon (December 27) and was saved after a one and a half hour rescue mission.

Douglas coastguard and the MSPCA were initially called to the scene at 2pm after reports of a stranded seal at the high water mark at Douglas breakwater. Following an assessment the pup was deemed safe and well and could return back to the water by itself.

However, the organisations were called out an hour later after a member of the public noticed the pup had fallen into a hole.

Chris Burton, senior watch officer at the marine operations centre, said the rescue mission took around an hour and half and the operation was ‘very much a case of stop and start’ due to the poor weather conditions.

‘The seal was in a bit of an awkward position for him to get back to the water. At about 3pm the pup got himself into a bit more trouble and fell into a hole.’

Following the rescue operation, the young animal was checked over and safely returned back to the water.

Adrian Cannell, animal welfare officer at the MSPCA, said it was difficult to get the animal back to safety due to the poor weather. ‘It was a success story but it was hard with the bad weather conditions.’

General manager at the MSPCA Juana Warburton added that the public should watch a seal pup for as long as possible and see what happens when the tide comes back in before reporting a stranded seal.

She said: ‘Often very young pups are being looked after by their mothers who need to go off hunting and so might not be visible, or an older pup might simply be resting.’

So far this year Douglas Coastguard has responded to 46 emergency calls.

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