Rescued seal released in Norfolk turns up on French coast

Has Been the seal

Has Been photographed in France by Chris Vanhove - Credit: Chris Vanhove

It was deja vu for Norfolk wildlife lovers when a seal they had been caring for through lockdown was spotted on a beach in France.

Has Been, as he was named, was spotted in Dunkirk in France earlier this month and looked very happy as photographer Chris Vanhove captured him doing a banana pose with his flippers in the air.

Orphan Has Been came into RSPCA's East Winch Wildlife Centre near King's Lynn in June last year, after he was rescued from Shoeburyness in Essex, weighing just 10kg.

He was cared for by staff at the centre for a number of months to ensure he was strong and fit enough to return to the wild, before being released into the Wash in November weighing a healthy 38.5kg.

Has Been the seal

Has Been and his pool mates pictured at East Winch before he was released in November - Credit: RSPCA

Centre manager Alison Charles said: “We were so delighted to hear that Has Been had been spotted alive and well - and that he was all the way over in France. We tag our seals before release so they can be monitored, which is how Has Been was identified on the beach.

“He was such a tiny little fella when he came into our care, we had to work hard to get his weight back up - and as with all our orphan seals it is a long road to recovery for them.

“2020 was such an emotionally tough year for everyone and one we will never forget. However during this year the RSPCA still continued to rescue and rehabilitate animals during these difficult times."

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She added In the past 12 months, the centre has released 75 seals which were brought in for a range of reasons including injuries from dogs and other seals, being disturbed by humans, orphaned, or were found emaciated, dehydrated and sick. 

“At the moment we are still caring for 29  pups at our hospital, many of which are getting through three hourly feeds - so as you can imagine we do need a lot of fish for all our patients.”

If you would like to support the work of the team at East Winch during the pandemic, they have an Amazon wish list of items.

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