Rescuers risk lockdown to save lives of THIRTY baby seals

The young seals were found on the Baltic coast. Wojciech Czuchryta / Błekitny Patrol WWF

Thirty sick or orphaned seal pups are receiving special care in seal hospitals after being rescued on the Baltic coast despite lockdown regulations.

The young seals were picked up by Blue Patrols staffed by World Wildlife Foundation volunteers.

The patrols have been operating along the Baltic for 10 years but have had their operations limited this year owing to measures brought in to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Young and inexperienced seals face many challenges including getting caught in fragments of old fishing nets.Jan Wilkanowski/ Błekitny Patrol WWF

“March and April is always an intense time of activity for the patrols, but this year it has been difficult owing to quarantine measures,” the WWF said in a press release.

“But volunteers, while abiding to the regulations, are continuing to help seals. This year we have already found 27 pups that have been separated from their mothers.”

A further three seals needing medical care were also retrieved from the beaches.

The seals were taken to Gdańsk University’s Institute of Oceanography which has a special seal hospital.Wojciech Czuchryta/ Błekitny Patrol WWF

The high number of pups found reflects the fact that seals give birth in March, and that motherhood does not always go to plan.  

Animals in need of care and medical treatment are taken to a marine centre belonging to Gdańsk University’s Institute of Oceanography, which has a special seal hospital.

The baby seals were picked up by Blue Patrols staffed by World Wildlife Foundation volunteers.Piotr Jaskolowski/ Błekitny Patrol WWF

Seals, especially young and inexperienced ones, face many challenges says the WWF.

They can get caught in fragments of old fishing nets and suffer from the effects of pollution.

The high number of pups found reflects the fact that seals give birth in March, and that motherhood does not always go to plan.Marcin Dobass/ WWF

Young seals can also be attacked by dogs that have been let off their leads by their owners.

The WWF says pups are unable to defend themselves against dogs although their mothers can deliver savage bites if need be.