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The text below is taken from a blog post that Lisa Morgan, Head of Islands and Marine at the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, wrote regarding the sighting. At the time Lisa was the Warden on Ramsey Island.

"Last Friday started off as a pretty normal seal monitoring day. As you might expect for late October numbers were beginning to drop off and following recent bad weather there have been some inevitable casualties as a result of pups getting separated from their mothers.

It was perhaps no major surprise then to find a marked pup from elsewhere lying on Hwrddod, one of our east coast beaches. I knew that Skomer use colour spray marking to monitor their pups (under special licence from NRW) so I took a few photos to send to our neighbouring wardens, Ed and Bee. The pup looked fit but was very young so without a mother it stood no chance.

There was a cow lying quite close to it on the beach so I took a photo of her to add to our seal ID photo collection.

When I got back I emailed the pup photo to Skomer so they could a) confirm it was one of theirs and b) log where it had ended up.

I decided to attach the photo of the nearby cow too....just in case!

I got an email straight back from Ed informing me that ‘purple / black’ was indeed one of their pups (number 193). It had been born on 22nd October on North Haven (where the boat lands on Skomer) so was eight day old when it reached us (presumably as a result of very large spring tides this past week and strong to gale force winds at times). It had last been seen on Skomer on 27th.

The remarkable thing however was that Ed confirmed the cow I had photographed WAS the pup’s mother!! Although Skomer is 6 miles south of Ramsey we know from tracking and photo ID work that it is not unusual for adults to move between the islands. However it is almost unimaginable that she somehow managed to stay with the pup as it was first washed off Skomer North Haven and then tossed around in open sea over this distance, all the time being dragged north on a strong flood tide that can run at up to 9 knots as you reach Ramsey Sound. She then somehow succeeded in guiding the pup to Hwrddod, a small but sheltered pupping beach on the east coast of Ramsey, within spitting distance of the notorious Bitches – a large reef that creates snarling currents and giant standing waves. What a mum!

I’ve watched cows attempting to guide their pups a few metres back to their birth beach after a ‘swimming lesson’. That in itself can be a protracted and exhausting process so this feat is something else!

Seeing them snoozing happily on the beach on Ramsey you would never know the ordeal they had been through. We will monitor the pup through to weaning and keep Ed and Bee informed on the outcome for their errant pup and the most maternal cow I’ve ever come across!

Mum and pup were still present today and he or she is fattening up nicely."

Description of photos: 1) Seal pup number 193, on Ramsey Island. 2) Seal pup number 193 next to its mother, on Ramsey Island. 3) Seal pup number 193 next to its mother, on Ramsey Island.

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