Orphaned seal rescued five years ago in Cumbria spotted with newborn pup

Five years later, a rescued orphan seal has her first pup. Credit: Adge Lane (RSPCA)

An orphaned seal that was cared for in a wildlife centre in Cheshire has become a mum.

She was rescued in December 2016 by the RSPCA in Nantwich after she was found injured on Walney Island in Barrow-in-Furness.

After a stint of rehabilitation, the seal, who has been nicknamed Admiral's Ale, was successfully released at the start of 2017.

Almost five years later, she has been spotted with a newborn pup on a beach in North Wales - after an orange tag on her flipper was recognised by a researcher.

The pup was born on 12 November and has been named Gwener. Credit: Adge Lane (RSPCA)

RSPCA manager Evangelos Achilleos said the emotional sighting of the pair emphasises the impact of the animal charity's work.

He said: "It was heartwarming to see the pictures on the weekend, which were taken at a distance with a long lens; this is crucially important during pupping season when people should be admiring these wonderful animals from afar.” 

The RSPCA say at this time of year female grey seals are vulnerable to disturbance when they are with their offspring on beaches.

The charity says if they are disturbed they are likely to move away from their pup into the sea and may not return to feed it.

That's why it's very important for to keep your distance - do not try and move the animal back into the water.

Gwener feeding on her mum Credit: Adge Lane (RSPCA)

Seals can give a nasty bite, so keep children, dogs and other animals away from them.

If a seal pup is injured or in distress, the mother hasn’t returned after 24 hours, or is on a busy public beach, the RSPCA's emergency line should be contacted on 0300 1234 999.

For more information about what to do if you’re concerned about a seal pup, please visit the RSPCA’s website.

Gwener feeding on her mum Credit: Adge Lane (RSPCA)