Say hi to Podge and Rodge! Whilst scanning with my binoculars from Hook Head over the water toward Dunmore East the other day, these two kept popping up to see what I was up to. So I said I’d give them their 15 minutes of fame!
Grey seals are the larger of our two seals in Ireland, the common seal being the other. They are also one of the rarest seals in the world and were the first animal to be officially listed as protected. Sharks, Killer whales and Humans are its biggest enemies.
Today 40% of the worlds population are found around the British Isles and Wexford (especially Wexford harbour) holds a good number of our Grey seal population. They are the largest land breeding mammal in Ireland but are really at home in water. Powerful swimmers, they can dive down to 70 meters for food, while holding their breath for up to 30 minutes.
Baby seals have white fur and gain about 2kg daily as their mothers milk is 40% fat. Grey seals can live for up to 25 years. Lets hope they are not too sensitive though as their scientific name (Halichoerus grypus) means, hooked-nosed sea pig. Charming.