A group of four seals which have washed up at the Aignish end of the Braighe beach are likely to have died of natural causes, according to a marine animals stranding specialist.
The four carcasses were photographed by John Dyer this morning (Thursday February 14th) and have been causing comment and speculation on social media sites.
But Nick Davison, stranding co-ordinator for the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme, said the group of bodies was not unusual for this time of year.
He told welovestornoway.com this morning: “It has been stormy and the seals have probably died elsewhere and washed up here together – we have a group of 30 carcasses at one location in Orkney at the moment.
“I doubt that it is anything untoward. At this time of year both adults and pups are likely to succumb, especially to extreme weather. Adults can be in poor condition and susceptible to disease and weather, while youngsters are just weaned and looking for food, so they can be vulnerable to storms.”
The bodies of the seals will later be photographed and measured by island stranding volunteers, and samples taken to check for pollutants, disease and general condition.
Photographer John Dyer previously reported the carcass of a juvenile dolphin which had washed up on the other side of the Braighe. This has now arrived with the strandings team at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) in Inverness, where a full post-mortem is to be carried out.
The pictures show the seal carcasses discovered today and part of the juvenile dolphin found earlier this week (both photos John Dyer).