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Hundreds of seal pups killed by storm at nature preserve

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A devastating blow has killed off a whole bunch of seal infants at a Scottish nature reserve.

Winter Storm Arwen — which battered the United Kingdom and Scotland with sturdy gusts of over 75mph final week — took the lives of over an estimated 800 seal pups at the National Trust for Scotland St Abb’s Head reserve.

The Trust stated that it had by no means earlier than seen harm on such a scale, the BBC reported. 

The storm hit at a particularly unlucky time for the reserve, the place it was the “peak of pupping season,” stated Ranger Ciaran Hatsell. In its wake, Storm Arwen thus left “a pretty grim scene.”

While the reserve has seen large seal pup progress over the course of the previous decade, the latest harm has doubtless dealt an enduring blow: While Hatsell stated that space pups had lately been counted at over 2,000, he fears that just about half — or greater than 40 % of them — are actually misplaced.

“The storm that hit was phenomenal and to hit at this time of year is really hard,” he stated. “Something on this scale, a single event, I have never seen anything like it.”

Seals on the Farne Islands in the course of the annual census of pup numbers at one of England’s largest gray seal colonies.
PA Images/Sipa USA

Hatsell noticed the harm firsthand, in in regards to the goriest manner attainable.

“To see piles of dead pups in the water — just bodies floating — was really hard to see,” he stated. 

seal pups dead storm
A younger widespread seal on the seashore at Horsey Gap in Norfolk.
PA Images/Sipa USA

Other space wildlife additionally suffered in the course of the storm, in response to the National Trust for Scotland. 

“Unfortunately it appears we have lost the majority of our seal pups to this storm,” it posted on Facebook, in response to the BBC. “This is a risk grey seals take with their breeding strategy, pupping at this time of year when storms are most frequent…But for this kind of phenomenal storm to hit at the peak of pupping is exceptional.”