Lost seal pups keep rescuers from Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary busy

Hollie Stephenson with a rescued seal at Old Hunstanton.

Hollie Stephenson with a rescued seal at Old Hunstanton. - Credit: Archant

Seal rescuers at Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary carried out an unprecedented three rescue missions simultaneously this week.

The first call out saw displays supervisor Kieran Copeland dashing to Hunstanton beach to rescue an abandoned female common seal pup.

No sooner was he out of the door however than a second call came in, and colleague Hollie Stephenson was dispatched to Old Hunstanton Beach to pick up a sickly one-day-old male pup.

That just left general manager Nigel Croasdale and animal care team member Jo Copas to respond to the third call, which came from a fishing boat on its way into harbour at King's Lynn.

They drove to King's Lynn to meet the skipper and crew of the Silver Star, who had watched a small pup on a sand bar for a whole day while fishing, and having seen no sign of an adult, decided it needed rescuing.


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The latter casualty, though a good three days older than the other two, proved to be in the worst condition. Another female, she weighed only 8.2kg and was running a temperature.

The three new arrivals, christened Mystique, Spiderman and Flash Gordon respectively, in line with a super hero theme for this year's casualties, brings the tally in the sanctuary's indoor hospital to 10 so far.

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'For a little while the sanctuary was being run by a skeleton crew, with almost half the staff out rescuing seals,' said Mr Croasdale.

'We're well into the common seal breeding season now and expect the odd emergency, but even after heavy storms it's rare we get two call-outs together, let alone three.'

When they are strong enough, the seals will be moved into the sanctuary's outdoor pools, where they will be cared for until they are fit enough to be returned to the wild in the autumn.

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