Wildlife photo of the week!

Photo credit: Catherine Gunther, Cubert

This fab photo oppotunity was grabbed by a visitor walking at Kelsey Head, near Newquay. The image shows no less than 15 Grey seals all taking an iniquisitive break from their hunting and feeding. This is probably a mix of older adults and last autumn’s now grown up pups.

Some Grey seal facts:

  • Male Greys grow to over 2 metres long and weigh up to 230kg.
  • Their lifespan is erom 25-35 years.
  • About 2/3 of their time is spent at sea hunting and feeding mainly on sand eels and cod
  • Seal pups are born around September, have white fur, and put on about 2kg a day suckling on the mothers very fat rich milk
  • Their UK numbers have trebled since 1960 to over 120,000 animals and this accounts for half the world population, so are of high international conservation importance. They outnumber common seal by 2:1
  • Their Latin name – Halichoerus grypus – is formed from greek words meaning ‘hook-nosed sea-pig’!
  • If you find a seal pup on a beach it should not be approached as this may result in the mother abandonning it

For injured or dead animals you should contact one of the following: Marine Strandings Network at Cornwall Wildlife Trust 0845 2012626, RSPCA Cornwall 01637 881455, National Seal Sanctuary, Gweek, Cornwall 0871 4232110

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