Don't touch the seal pups!

MEMBERS of the public have been urged to keep away from any seal pups on Manx beaches as the breeding season comes to an end.

A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said: ‘Seal pups often appear on Manx beaches at this time of the year and the DAFF urges walkers and beach users to keep clear as approaching a seal pup may cause it to become abandoned. ‘It’s normal for a seal pup to be left unattended for several hours while the mother hunts for food. The mother may be offshore watching, so approaching, handling and picking up a seal pup can cause the mother distress and she may abandon her young.’

They said: ‘Seal pups are very cute but well-intentioned people are often mistaken in rescuing healthy pups because they are basking on the beach. It takes time to accurately decide if a pup is abandoned so watch from a distance and seek advice. ‘Seals are wild animals and can bite,’ they added. ‘They also carry diseases which are transferable to humans and dogs.