"Grey Seal pups are born in the autumn covered in thick white fur.I photographed this mother keeping a watchful eye on her young cub in October on the islands off the west of Ireland where the Grey Seals haul out on their traditional breeding grounds on rocky islands and sandy bays. After eleven months' gestation the female gives birth to one single pup, which, although big and well developed, is not nearly as independent as a new born Common Seal, which sheds its furry coat immediately after birth in the spring and can swim with the herd only a few hours later. The Grey Seal pups keep their white curly coats and cling to the land for two perilous weeks. Their mother's milk is so rich in fat that they put on pounds every day. After being pushed and shoved a great deal they finally overcome their fear of water. Toward the end of autumn the bull herds together the cows which belong to him and soon afterwards hunger forces their deserted young to learn to fish. The young seals are born into a harsh environment and within weeks have to survive the oncoming winter. In fact recent winters have been particularly harsh with many storm force winds and the resultant high seas. Sadly both human lives and animals were lost at sea. Last year many seal pups were washed ashore off the Irish coast. The increase in storm activity may too be a result of global warming. World Awareness Day, drawing attention to global warming, is on 8th December, 07 "
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