Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Snow White and Snoring Beauty

Today I had a most amazing experience when I went down to the slip at North Haven to check on our seal pups. Once I got all the way to the bottom I noticed that we had gained a pup - a beautiful new born pup was sound asleep next to a shiny pure white weaner and a scruffy looking moulting pup.

Snow White and...

her scruffy companion

I went onto the beach to have a better look at the new born pup - it looked like it was stuck in between some rocks. It turned out that it wasn't stuck but had found itself the most uncomfortable resting place a human can imagine.

Snoring Beauty

I had managed to creep so quietly onto the beach that none of the three pups had woken up. I spent a magical half an hour sitting amongst these wild animals watching them sleep. The new born pup was snoring like a chain saw (possibly induced by the way its head was bent upwards), it had its mouth slightly open and I could see its brand new little teeth which had just emerged from the gums. I wonder how mum appreciates these teeth when they dig into her belly?  
Underneath the pup's pristine coat I was able to make out the beating heart, I even saw the two stages of the heart beat, first the chest contracted further up and then a little bit further down.

Suddenly the fast breathing combined with the snoring stopped - I got really worried that I would be witness to the sudden death of this sea mammal - however the heart beat continued and when I leaned closer I noticed that the animal was still breathing, only much quieter and more shallow. Who knows, maybe the pup had already been hunting fish in its dreams?

(Skomer Warden)

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