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These are not the same animal are they? The pattern is different. Both are young animals around 20-30 days old; very fat but fully moulted. They thin down a little after their mothers stop feeding them at around 20-30 days, especially when they become active in the water and have to fend for themselves.
At Donna Nook do the females desert the pups and then call to them from the water's edge encouraging them to enter as they do on the Welsh beaches?
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This was a few years ago (I have just found a way to make my 'broken' scanner work, which is why I've finally been able to post a few sightings from the days of my film cameras!), and from what I can recall I thought the seal in the puddle was an adult female, but maybe not.
At Donna Nook the sea is a long, long way from where a lot of the mothers pup up near the dunes, so I've never heard or seen mothers calling the pups into the sea. I've always just assumed that when the pups get hungry enough after not being fed for a while, they haul their fat bodies across the dunes and mud flats and find their own way out to sea (and fish dinners).
OU Certificate in Contemporary Science
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