And they call it puppy love … locals in Bray appear to have fallen in love with a baby seal and its mum after they took up residence on the beach.
Residents of the town became concerned about the young pup after it was spotted alone on the beach after Storm Lorenzo but what is presumed to be the mum has since shown up.
Seal pups do not have a waterproof coat until they are three weeks old so their mothers are resting them on the coastline all along Wicklow until then.
Gardai in Wicklow have advised people to keep dogs on their leads and not approach the pair. They wrote on Facebook:
“We have been asked that the public be made aware of a seal pup resting on Bray beach, most likely left by his mother until the weather calms down.
stay away and let nature take its course
“Advice from Seal Rescue Ireland is to stay away and let nature take its course. Keep dogs on leads and do not approach.”
Independent Councillor Joe Behan also urged people not to go near the pups as their mothers may abandon the creature. He said:
“Please be aware that a new born seal pup and its mother are on Bray beach. Please do not approach them or allow your dog to go anywhere near the seal pup as its mother will abandon it. Do not put the pup back in the water as it cannot swim.”
They are not ‘stranded’ or ‘beached’
Seal Rescue Ireland warned people against trying to put the seals back in the water as it is dangerous and causes undue stress. They explained:
“Seals are very different from dolphins and whales. They spend a large part of their lives on land resting, re-oxygenating, mating, pupping and moulting!
“They are not ‘stranded’ or ‘beached’ if they are on land, and they are very capable of getting themselves in and out of the water.”