Seal released from Norfolk lands in France

rescued seal from Hunstanton Boy George

Boy George, the rescued seal from Norfolk who has landed in France - Credit: Hunstanton Sea Life

A rescued seal, named after pop star Boy George by rescuers who nursed him back to health in Norfolk, has been spotted in France.

Sophie Poncet, a biodiversity officer managing birds and marine mammal projects for the French environment ministry reported the sighting on a European Seal Rescue group and aquarist Hollie Stephenson recognised the number as one the common seal pups she and staff had helped to rear last year at Sea Life Hunstanton.

Rescued on August 11 last year Boy George was found badly injured by members of the public on Mundesley Beach. Weighing just 13kg at 10 weeks old he had a high fever, bite wounds on each of his flippers and an abscess inside his mouth which had caused swelling down the right side of his neck.

After five weeks on medication the team finally got clear results on Boy George’s blood tests, the infection had cleared up and the wound inside his mouth was healing nicely. However, 10 days later he took a turn for the worse, developing pneumonia and his temperature dropped to a dangerously low level.

The team worked around the clock to pull him through, he was put on a fluid drip, nebulised four times a day and tube fed electrolyte fluids and a special fish soup mixture to keep him hydrated and to give him the energy to fight the infection.

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Just before Hallowe'en the seal was given the all clear from the vets and was back up to full health, with a weight of 24kg.

Boy George went from strength to strength over the next few months before finally been able to feed himself on Christmas Day. By January 14, he weighed 35kg  and was ready to be released into The Wash.

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Aquarist Hollie Stephenson said: “All our rescued seals are tagged before release just in case they are spotted, but they go far and wide so we don’t often hear anything back. It is wonderful to know he is doing well after such a roller-coaster rehabilitation – and it’s fantastic for our team to know that a seal release is a complete success and that our ocean dwelling Boy George is doing well."

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