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Eight abandoned seal pups released back into the sea at Hunstanton

Ash was one of eight seal pups released back into the wild by the rescue team at Hunstanton's Sea Life Sanctuary. Picture: Ian Burt

Ash was one of eight seal pups released back into the wild by the rescue team at Hunstanton's Sea Life Sanctuary. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2016

Just weeks ago they were fighting for their lives after being abandoned on the beach.

The eight seals

Lara - Rescued from Hunstanton Beach in June. She was five days old and weighed 9kg. After lots of care, she is now eating properly and has reached a normal weight for her age.

Fiona - Rescued from RSPB Titchwell Marsh in June. At only two days old, she was found with no sign of a mum. She is now a happy, quiet seal, who’s now eating fish all on her own.

Ash - Rescued from Hunstanton Power Boat Ramp Rescue in June. He was very ill and underweight, but is now very lively and loves to eat and play with his fish.

Snorlax - Rescued from Mundesley in August. Snorlax weight 16kg and was just six weeks old when rescued. He is now feeding after finishing his worm treatment.

Jiggly Puff - Rescued from Hunstanton Beach in August. The three-week-old pup had cuts to her rear flippers and was abandoned before her mother taught her how to feed herself.

Jaxs - Rescued from Mundesley beach in October. Was found with blood around his mouth and had to be treated for lungworm and tapeworm. He was found aged just three months.

Birdo – Rescued on August 25, from Walcott, near Mundesley. The seal was found with minor cuts to his flippers and face - possibly bitten by another seal.

Misty - Rescued from Holme Beach on July 8. This three-week-old pup was discovered by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, weighing 6.25kg. She is described as quite an angry little seal.

But today, these eight common seal pups are swimming happily in the sea after being nursed back to health.

The animals were released in west Norfolk today having spent the past few months recovering at Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary.

Each one was rescued between June and October this year from coastal areas across the county.

Nigel Croasdale, general manager, said his team had saved a record number of more than 60 seal pups over the past 12 months.

Jaxs was one of eight seal pups released back into the wild by the rescue team at Hunstanton's Sea Life Sanctuary. Picture: Ian BurtJaxs was one of eight seal pups released back into the wild by the rescue team at Hunstanton's Sea Life Sanctuary. Picture: Ian Burt

He explained the increase in rescues was largely to do with the rising number of common and grey seal populations along the coast.

Demand has also increased as the sanctuary is now one of just two places in Norfolk that cares for injured pups.

The latest batch include Lara, who was only five days old and weighed just 9kg when she was spotted by a member of the public at Hunstanton beach.

Meanwhile, Jiggly Puff, rescued in August, suffered cuts to her rear flippers and was three weeks old when she was abandoned.

Eight seal pups were released back into the wild by the rescue team at Hunstanton's Sea Life Sanctuary. Picture: Ian BurtEight seal pups were released back into the wild by the rescue team at Hunstanton's Sea Life Sanctuary. Picture: Ian Burt

Mr Croasdale said the sanctuary was at full capacity at times during the summer, with eight or nine pups being treated at once.

“Sometimes they are abandoned and have only just been born, whereas others are underweight and quite poorly,” he added.

“Normally we would be releasing two to three seals at a time because before they get released they need a clean bill of health.

“You need to be sure you are releasing a seal with the right about of body fat reserves, and it just so happens that this batch is good to go.”

Eight seal pups were released back into the wild by the rescue team at Hunstanton's Sea Life Sanctuary. Picture: Ian BurtEight seal pups were released back into the wild by the rescue team at Hunstanton's Sea Life Sanctuary. Picture: Ian Burt

One of the “luckiest” seals released yesterday was a pup called Ash, who was seriously ill when rescued.

Team member Nathaniel Stephenson said: “We were not expecting him to make it, but he’s our little warrior. Not only did he pull through but he is now one of the liveliest of the group.”

The sanctuary is now preparing for this year’s grey seals to be born over the winter.

Have you rescued an unusual animal? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684


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