Injured or stranded marine mammals

Seals and seal pups

If you come across a seal on the shore, keep yourself, others, and dogs away from the seal. Adult seals regularly ‘haul out’ onto the coastline to rest. It is very important that they are not disturbed as this may cause stress and injury. Seal pups sometimes wash up along the coast after they have been born. They are usually in good health and their mum will be somewhere nearby or out at sea feeding. Do not approach, touch, or move seal pups as this will cause significant stress and may result in their mother abandoning them.

If the seal or pup has visible signs of injury, looks skinny or lethargic, is in immediate danger, or is having difficulty breathing, please call the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999 or the British Divers Marine Life Rescue on 01825 765546. You will need to provide them with a specific, precise location and (if possible) stay somewhere closeby until help arrives.

We've created a easy to use checklist to help you decide if a pup is in need of rescue, you can download it HERE.

Whales, dolphins and porpoises

If you find a live whale, dolphin or porpoise stranded on the beach, please call for help immediately. Rescue for live strandings can be called 24 hours a day through British Divers Marine Life Rescue on 01825 765546 or the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.

For advice on what to do if you find a dead marine mammal, please read our Dead Seabirds and Marine Mammals page.