Pupping season for grey seals has begun and the public is being reminded to stay clear of pups and their nursing mothers during this critical time in their breeding cycle.
— Inishbofinnature (@Inishbofinature) October 12, 2016
During this period these creatures are extremely vulnerable to disturbance. Females will be coming ashore and require a quiet space to give birth. They will then nurse their pups for about three weeks on land. Dog walkers and beach users should make sure that they stay away and keep dogs on leads. While it’s undeniable the urge to get a closer look at these beautiful creatures it’s important we keep a distance.
Recent instances at Bull Island where people have gone up to take photos with the seals have resulted in the animals being forced into the water. This has led to pups been abandoned, lost and even some deaths. Volunteers from the Irish Seal Sanctuary have stepped in and put measures in place to protect the seals.
It’s really unfortunate that in the overzealous selfie culture we’re currently enduring, many people have forgotten the common sense to give wildlife the modicum of respect that allows it to thrive. We are lucky to be able to witness these fascinating creatures right on our doorstep but let’s just do it at a considerate distance.