Cornwall seal hospital treats nearly a hundred pups this season - almost a third more than usual

  • Watch Grace Pascoe's report

Nearly a hundred seal pups have already been rescued by British Divers Marine Life Rescue, surpassing the 75 rescued last season.

The group's new seal hospital in central Cornwall means it can care for more pups than before.

Previously it had four pens and if they needed to help more pups they used garages and outhouses.

Now they have a bespoke facility and they can help 10 pups at a time

It comes as harsh winter storms and high seas have made this a tricky winter for the animals.

The hospital has a new facility which means it can look after more seals than before Credit: ITV News

The group has looked after 95 seals already and Dan Jarvis, the area co-ordinator for Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly at the BDMLR, said: "It’s been a fantastic asset for us.

"We’re in our second season now since it’s been built, we’ve got 10 pens in here, seven occupied at the moment and we’ve had a really busy season."

This seasons pups are all named after films like Juno, Scooby Doo, Stuart Little, Serendipity & Mary Poppins.

He said: "We’ve had lots of pups come in with infections and injuries, we’ve got this pup called Serendipity, she unfortunately was found entangled in some line and hooks, several of which were in her caught in her body and her flippers.

"If you see a seal on a beach the most important thing you can do is leave it alone, it is most likely resting so shouldn’t be disturbed.

"Keep noise to a minimum and keep dogs under control and on leads. If you’re worried about the seal pup call the BDMLR hotline for advice on 01825 765546."

Gill Fischer, a BDLMR volunteer, said: "It’s very worthwhile to spend time with these wild creatures.

"As a human race we’re interfering with their environment and it’s great to give something back.

"When they’ve been rescued and they come here, to be able to feed them up and give them their treatments.

Dan Jarvis said it's been a particularly busy season Credit: ITV News

"Then when they get released about 3 months later it’s wonderful to see the chunky pups going back into their environment and to know that we’ve helped them."

Dr Natalie Arrow, a vet at the BDMLR’s seal hospital: "It’s quite a world away from normal practice.

"We’re trained at vet school on domesticated species, like dogs and cats and cattle so working with seals and wildlife generally for me I enjoy because it feels like I’m part of a bigger picture.

"We’re not just thinking of one animal or a herd of animals, we’re thinking of the health of a whole population and an ecosystem which is very rewarding."