Norfolk orphaned seal takes trip to the French coast

Norfolk orphaned seal takes trip to France

Salsa, an orphaned seal that was cared for by RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre last year, has been spotted enjoying a trip to a French beach over 200 miles away - Credit: Jean-Luc Bourgain

An orphaned seal who was rescued by a Norfolk RSPCA branch has been spotted over 200 miles away relaxing on a beach on the north coast of France.

Salsa came into the care of RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre in June last year and after being brought back to health was released into The Wash in October.

Earlier this month, he was spotted by photographer Jean-Luc Bourgain in Boulogne-Sur-Mer harbour on the north coast of France, and appeared to be happy and well.

Norfolk orphaned seal takes trip to France

Salsa weighed only 12kg when he was first rescued on Heacham South beach but he was later released into the Wash four months later, weighing a healthy 39.5kg - Credit: Jean-Luc Bourgain

The common seal pup came into the care of the west Norfolk RSPCA branch in June last year after he was found at Heacham South beach weighing just 12kg.

He was cared for over four months until he was fit enough to return to the wild, recovering to a healthy weight of 39.5kg.

Evangelous Achilleous, centre manager at RSPCA East Winch, said they were "delighted" to hear that Salsa had been spotted looking happy and well.

Mr Achilleous said: "“We were so delighted to hear that Salsa has been spotted looking so well and that he was all the way over in France enjoying his new found freedom. 

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“We remember Salsa in particular as he was very cheeky.

"He would always remove the plug in his pool and drain the water out several times a day so we would have to be very innovative in making sure the water stayed in.

"We even tried putting weights on the plug but Salsa would usually outsmart us, until he was moved into the outdoor pools which fortunately don’t have plugs!"

Norfolk orphaned seal takes trip to France

Salsa, who was described as "cheeky" by Mr Achilleous, RSPCA East Winch centre manager, can be spotted here close to the water's edge amongst a group of males - Credit: Jean-Luc Bourgain

Salsa had swam a distance of about 250 miles from the Wash to reach the harbour at Boulogne-Sur-Mer.

Mr Bourgain, who is a member of National Stranding Network which monitors marine animal sightings, contacted the RSPCA after investigating Salsa's tag number.

Mr Bourgain said: “I got in touch in the hope of finding out a little bit more about the seal.

"It’s been great to find out a bit more about his background and to be able to let his previous carers know that he is doing so well.”

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