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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 October 2006, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
New warning over island's seals
Baby seal on the Isle of Man
Seals often find quieter beaches on which to raise their young
A fresh warning about disturbing baby grey seals on the Isle of Man's beaches has been issued, after reports that the pups are being put at risk.

The Isle of Man government says it has received reports that people have been disturbing the young seals.

The main breeding season for the grey seals on the island is under way.

The government's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said it was an offence to disturb or harm the protected mammals.

Baby seals stay on the beach when they are being fed. Sightings should be reported to the Manx Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals.

'Last resort'

The charity warns that although the babies may look vulnerable, they have not been abandoned.

Although grey seals are a familiar sight around the Isle of Man, they are one of the rarest seals in the world.

A government spokeswoman said: "If the seal is left undisturbed it will be fed by its mother and will move successfully on to the next stage of its life, living in the sea.

"If it is disturbed, it could be abandoned by its mother and if it isn't fed regularly will die.

"The MSPCA will take in injured pups but this is a last resort - the best thing for a pup is for nature to take its course without people intervening."


SEE ALSO
Baby seals 'must be left alone'
04 Oct 06 |  Isle of Man
Scilly seal survey shows success
13 Sep 05 |  Cornwall
Probe into seals 'slaughter'
05 Nov 04 |  Europe

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