Seal pup saved at St Andrews beach

Atlantis the seal pup.
Atlantis the seal pup.
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Staff from St Andrews Aquarium were involved in saving a seal pup on the West Sands at the weekend.

They sprang into action on Sunday after being inundated with phone calls from the public to assist the grey seal that had washed up on the beach.

Working with the Scottish SPCA, team members from the aquarium rushed to the scene where the male pup, believed to be only several weeks old, was clearly in distress.

A member of the public had stood watch over the animal, guarding it from seagulls and dogs.

Andrews Whiston, the aquarium displays manager, said: ‘‘We called the SSPCA but, owing to the general physical state of the pup - which was very underweight, shivering and clearly ill - they asked if we could capture him and administer immediate first aid treatment pending their arrival.

“Our first task was to get the pup warm and we kept him off the ground on a vet bed until the SSPCA could collect him and take him to their wildlife rescue centre.

The SSPCA, which rescues around 100 common and grey seal pups each year, confirmed that the casualty - weighing in at only 13.8kg - was expected to make a full recovery. Staff have named him after the space shuttle Atlantis.

Anyone who finds a distressed seal pup on the shore should call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999 for advice and assistance.