The Cornish Seal Sanctuary has been treating a pup with a very unusual coat. The female grey seal pup, now named Egg, has been born with melanism – increased development of the dark-coloured pigment melanin in the skin or hair – which gives her a black coat.
Just one in 400 pups has the condition and it is even rarer to be found in a female, as they are naturally lighter in colour than male seals.
Egg was found malnourished and with a suspected respiratory infection, but is now receiving treatment from the sanctuary’s animal care team.
Despite going through three lockdowns and various restrictions, the pup rescue and rehabilitation work at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary has carried on as normal, battling against devastating financial losses. The sanctuary has continued their vital conservation work in order to support seal pups from around the Cornish coastline. It costs the sanctuary £2,000 on average per pup to get them back to full health and to be released back to the sea.
In 2020 the sanctuary lost more than £700,000 and are facing financial losses now in 2021 going through their third closure while still looking after resident animals that they provide permanent homes to as well as rehabilitating seal pups that need their care.