Sad ending for the Grey Seal found on Formby beach

5th April 2017

A Grey Seal was spotted just after 9am on Monday 3rd April washed up on Formby beach. The seal was alive and scared. It was approx 4.5ft long on Lifeboat Road beach.

Sefton Council Ranger Chris Tyman contacted the RSPCA because of concerns he had of distemper. The seal eventually ended up back in the sea at high tide but then landed back on the beach the next morning.

After a joint effort between the British Divers Marine Life association, the RSPCA and the Formby Lifeguards – the seal was taken to rehab at the RSPCA centre in Cheshire.

A spokesperson from Marine Life Rescue said: “The Grey seal was taken to RSPCA Stapeley Grange last night, Tuesday 4th April. One of their vets will look at it and they will decide what action to take. Hopefully they will be able to treat it until it is fit for release. It’s a large seal so they won’t want to keep it in longer than absolutely necessary.”

Unfortunately after talking to the RSPCA this morning, the seal had to be put to sleep. A spokesman from the RSPCA said: “When the seal was brought in last night, the vet checked him out but, he was in a very bad way. He was very lethargic and had a snotty nose and dry eyes. It was obvious that something was seriously wrong with him. He was a very big boy and we did everything we could but unfortunately we had to put him to sleep.”

When the Bubble met up with Sefton Council Ranger Chris Tyman, he explained: “The problem is, it is natural for him to haul out. If you’ve ever been out to Hilbre Island, there is about five hundred of them that haul out. Grey seals haul out in huge numbers at their colonies to breed, moult and rest. He looks alright but he does have marks on him. They can fight so that may explain the marks and he is maulting as well, but it could have distemper looking at the stuff hanging from his nose.”

Chris went on to call the RSPCA who were sending someone out to check everything was alright with it.

Although many seals found on their own are healthy, some are sick or injured and unable to feed properly, while others have been separated from their mothers by storms.

Anyone who is concerned about a seal found alone can report it to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 or report it online at

What to do if you find a seal – advice from the RSPCA

  1. Never put a seal back in the sea as it may get into difficulty

  2. Do not touch a seal if you find one alone – they can give a nasty bite, which will become infected by the bacteria that live in a seal’s mouth

  3. Do not allow dogs or other animals to harass a seal – it could be scared back into the water and washed out to sea by strong currents

Here is our video of the Grey Seal on Monday 3rd April

Report credit: Formby Bubble

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