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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 07:40 GMT
Common seal makes uncommon visit
Common seal
Grey seals and common seals differ in a number of ways
Seal experts in Cornwall were called in to remove a seal rarely seen in the county from a lifeboat station's slipway on Wednesday.

Staff from the National Seal Sanctuary were called to the RNLI station at St Ives where they found the seal basking in the sunshine.

Apart from a few grazes under his flippers he was very healthy.

Experts say they have not seen common seals in Cornwall before. They are usually found in Scotland and the Wash.

'Never in Cornwall'

Sanctuary staff assessed the animal and decided the grazes were superficial so no treatment was needed.

Tamara Cooper from the Sanctuary said: "On closer inspection it became more apparent that this seal was a common seal and not a grey.

"The Cornish coast is well known for its grey seals but has never seen a common seal in these waters.

"Common seals can be found in Scotland and the Wash, and we know of a small colony in Bournemouth, but never in Cornwall."

Grey seals and common seals differ in a number of ways including size and colour but the most obvious is the nose.

Grey seals have a longer face and snout and their nostrils do not meet at the end like the common seal.

Scilly seal survey shows success
13 Sep 05 |  Cornwall
More seals rescued by sanctuary
25 Oct 04 |  Cornwall


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