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Grey seal pups caught on camera as birthing season approaches its peak

The Isle of May is transformed each year as more than 2,500 of the marine mammals are born there from mid-September until mid-December.

Grey seal pups (Jane Barlow/PA)
Grey seal pups (Jane Barlow/PA)

By Lucy Christie, PA Scotland

Around 100 seal pups have been welcomed on a Scottish island as birthing season approaches its peak.

More than 2,500 pups are born annually on the Isle of May, with the first arriving from mid-September.

The number of births usually peaks in early November before the last pup is born in mid-December.

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A grey seal pup with its mother (Jane Barlow/PA)

It transforms the island in the Firth of Forth each year into one of the UK’s most important grey seal colonies.

The Isle of May is owned and managed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) as a national nature reserve.

It is closed to the public during seal season.

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More than 2,500 pups are born on the island each year (Jane Barlow/PA)

David Steel from SNH said: “Autumn is a fantastic time of year on the island, when areas once dominated by seabirds are completely taken over by seals and their pups.

“It’s a sight that not many get to witness as the island is closed to visitors, but watching those first interactions between pup and mum is just wonderful.

“This is a key time of year for breeding grey seals not just on the Isle of May but at haul-out sites around the shores of Scotland.

“While we all love the opportunity to see wildlife spectacles like this, it’s important that seals are not approached or disturbed and the pups are allowed to grow and explore in peace.”

PA

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