Last updated at 06:02

What's life like for the UK's seal pups?

It's pupping season for the UK's seals, meaning that furry baby seals will be popping up along the coastlines. Here's what their first few weeks look like.
When seal pups are born, they aren't that big, but are covered in long fluffy white hair to keep them warm. They don't swim much for the first few weeks of their lives, but drink lots of milk from their mum, to put on weight. This pup is calling for its mum to come and feed it.
thin seal pupSue Sayer/ Cornwall Seal Group
And all that feeding pays off! Pups grow to about three times their birth weight, thanks to all that milk. At 21 days old, this pup is ready to be start eating food as well it's mothers milk. It's got lots of fat reserves that will last until it gets good at feeding itself
fat seal pupSue Sayer/ Cornwall Seal Group
But the feeding affects the mum as well - look at this big mum seal with her small young pup.
small pup with big mumSue Sayer/ Cornwall Seal Group
.... and just two weeks later, look at the difference! The mum is much skinnier, while the pup has ballooned!
fat pup with skinny mum sealSue Sayer/ Cornwall Seal Group
The pups are born ready for their big weight gain - this newborn pup is so young it still has its pink umbilical cord attached. This is the chord that fed the seal while it grew in it's mums tummy. But you can see its big rolls of furry skin, ready to be filled with fat.
newborn seal pupSue Sayer/ Cornwall Seal Group
When they get to 2-3 weeks old, the pups start to loose the fluffy white fur, and look more like the grown-up seals. This is called moulting
Seal pup moultingSue Sayer/ Cornwall Seal Group
Pups should just be relaxing on the shore for their first few weeks, but sometimes they're affected by people - this seal is being scared into sea by kayakers who land on their beach to take photos
seal pup with kayakersSue Sayer/ Cornwall Seal Group
Some seals can also get in trouble because of litter on their beaches. This pup is surrounded by old bottles, bits of rope, and sheets of plastic.
seal pup surrounded by litterSue Sayer/ Cornwall Seal Group
This pup was on a public beach, and had been abandoned by its mum. When British Divers Marine Life Rescue were sure there was no chance its mum would come back to feed it, they rescued it. It's called Stardust.
seal pup being rescuedSue Sayer/ Cornwall Seal Group
Once he was ready, Stardust was released back into the wild where he looks like he's doing well!
Stardust the seal after being released back to the wildSue Sayer/ Cornwall Seal Group