baby seal rescue

Baby seal Stranded at Forty Foot

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Seal Rescue volunteer monitors condition of seal pup

Baby seal. During the spring tides last week a young seal pup was stranded at the popular swimming spot the Forty Foot. The pup was found at the top of the stairs at Kavanagh’s, one of the locations where swimmers can enter the water. Harriet Donnelly of Flossie and the Beach Cleaners, also a dedicated Seal Rescue Ireland volunteer, monitored the seal pup’s condition.

Photo: Fabrice Jolivet Photography

Pup brought in by spring tide

The pup, christened Kavanagh, found himself perched there on Sunday November 15th and it is thought the mother seal intended to leave the pup safely on higher rocks because of the spring tide.  Seal pups are unable to swim when they are quite young. Overnight his position changed and he was then spotted over by Sandycove in the garden of a private house which faces Scotman’s Bay on a disused boat launching platform near the Sandycove swimming steps. 

Preparing for Rescue

On Tuesday, Kavanagh appeared quite hungry and dehydrated and was seen jumping from the wall by a group of swimmers, who call themselves the 40 Foot walruses, on the following Tuesday.  If he had not returned to the sea Harriet would have kicked the rescue protocol into action to prepare the seal for transport to the sanctuary in Wexford.  She had her “seal rescue container” ready to go in the car in case the call came in from Seal Rescue Ireland to proceed.  However, Kavanagh decided to make his own escape and we all hope he will be ok. 

There are several seals in the waters and rocks around the 40 Foot and we are grateful to them for sharing their watery world with us.  They often pop their heads above the water to check swimmers out as they swim overhead. Let’s remember this is their home and do all we can to help when we see a seal in distress. 

If you come across a seal in distress

If you come across a seal in distress here are the instructions to follow on the Seal Rescue Ireland website

What to do if you find a seal:

  1. Please DO NOT approach seals or attempt to put them in water.
  2. Please remain at least 100 m away and keep dogs on a leash.
  3. Call or Email Seal Rescue Ireland’s 24/7 Rescue Hotline:
  4. – 087 1955393
  5. –
  6. Whether you phone or email us, please answer all the following questions, which will ensure our team has all the information they need to address each seal in need.
  7. Give required information: Location (Beach, County, GPS Coordinates if possible), Size of seal (compare to a dog breed), Colour of seal, Any visible Injuries? Are there any other seals nearby, on land or in water, Photos/Videos of seal (if possible), Your Name, Your Contact Phone and Your Contact Email.
Photo: Fabrice Jolivet Photography
Photographer | Website | + posts

I’m Fabrice a professional photographer for the past 30-years. I had publications like in Vice and Marie-Claire and more.

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