Rescued seals given new chance at life after being released back into the ocean at Hunstanton
- Credit: HUNSTANTON SEA LIFE SANCTUARY
They were found exhausted, dehydrated and with their lives in danger.
But three seals have been given another chance at life after being rescued and cared for by an animal sanctuary.
The releases of Ridley, Natterjack and Leatherback were the first three rehabilitated seals of the common seal season to be released on Hunstanton beach.
Ridley, a common seal, had been found exhausted and showing signs of dehydration when he was rescued on June 13 this year.
The team at Hunstanton's Sea Life Sanctuary, who took him in, suspected he had been abandoned after being reported spotted the night before in the area.
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Common seal pups Natterjack and Leatherback were both rescued from Snettisham beach less than a week apart from one another, with Natterjack found on June 20 and Leatherback on June 25.
Animal care team member Natalie Emmerson said: 'This year we wanted to increase awareness of vulnerable and endangered species from across the world. Ridley was named after the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle, the world's most endangered sea turtle.
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'Each of the seals was tagged before releasing so they could be identified if they ever needed our help again, this year our seal rescue team has received a high number of call outs to seals in a very short period of time.
'At several points this year our seal hospital has been stretched to full capacity.
'Sometimes the best thing you can do for an adorable seal pup is exactly the opposite of what you want to do. These animals need space, with limited human interference, if any.
'It's very natural for the seal pups to be left on the beach - this allows the mother time to hunt, so she can produce a nutrient rich milk for the pup.'
Every step of the releases was carefully planned, taking into account weather, tides and the final seal weigh in.
Once the team did their final seal health checks on each one, the team herded the seals into specially designed stretchers and escorted them onto the beach, where they were released back into the wild.