Into the wild

Wednesday, 06 May 2020

With grey seal pup season now coming to an end, the Sanctuary have done their final pup release of the season! We have rescued 64 seal pups this season, each coming to us with their own individual care needs.

There are a variety of reasons as to why seal pups need to be rescued; from malnutrition to being separated from their mum at just a few days old. If the pup needs rescuing, it will be then brought to the Sanctuary, where it can begin the rehabilitation process in the seal hospital. A full clinical assessment is given to the pup and any medication that has been prescribed will be administered.

As well as nursing the pups back to health, it is also important that they build their weight up with lots of fish. Once they are eating well, they will then go outside to the Nursery Pools and then the Convalescence Pool to build up social skills and also to practice competing for their food with the resident adult seals.

The target release weight is 35 – 40 Kilos, so when the pups reach this weight and are happy and healthy, the Sanctuary team release them back to the wild.

All of the released pups from the Sanctuary are tagged on their flipper, to help identify them out in the wild if they are spotted. The team love to hear if a rescued pup has been seen, so if you do spot a seal with a visible tag please do get in touch.

A real success story from this seasons rescued seal pups is Joker, a male grey seal pup that was rescued by British Divers Marine Life Rescue on the 14th December from Little Fistral beach in Newquay. He was found high on the rocks at the Towan head. Members of BDMLR and the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust were able to capture him and carefully remove the monofilament net that was wrapped around him.

(Image Credit - Lizzi Larbalestier)

He had a large laceration on top of his neck but also facial trauma from attempting to bite his way out of the net. He was transferred to the Cornish Seal Sanctuary where he received the medical care needed to recover from his injuries and gain weight in order to be released back into the wild. Thankfully, he recovered well at the Sanctuary, and the team were able to release him back into the wild in late January.

We want to thank all of the rescue networks, members of the public who call when they are concerned for a seal pup and for all of the support we have had this year. We cannot do our work without you and it is thanks to you we have been able to successfully rehabilitate 64 seal pups this year.