Dead seals on Cornish beaches baffling wildlife experts

35 seals have been found dead in the past two months

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The Independent Online

Wildlife experts say they are baffled after huge numbers of dead seals have been washed onto the beaches of Cornwall for no discernible reason.

According to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, 35 seals have been found dead in the past two months, almost twice the normal rate for this time of yearl, but while the weather is likely to be partly responsible, the extent of the increase remains a mystery.

“While bad weather will undoubtedly have been the cause of some of these strandings, the sheer number of cases has left us slightly baffled. We don’t yet have any answers as to why this is happening,” said Caz Waddell, from the trust.

“Although it would be easy to assume that large numbers of stranded seals might mean we have large populations of seals in our waters, this is simply not the case,” she added.

The trend is particularly concerning because the recent strandings have included young adults in their prime.

Sue Sayer, of the Cornwall Seal Group, said: “If we are losing breeding age adults from the population the implications for future generations could be huge. Whilst it is sadly quite common to find dead pups at this time of year, deaths of adult seals are more serious and we are concerned about the future numbers that are dying around out coast.”

The Cornwall Wildlife Trust said 37 seals have been rescued alive from Cornish beaches in the past two months after being washed in from the sea.