Seals named after Star Wars characters are released back into the wild from RSPCA East Winch centre

Seals released from East Winch centre: Pictures submitted

Seals released from East Winch centre: Pictures submitted - Credit: Archant

After five months of special care, 10 seals that were rescued along the Norfolk coast have been released back into the wild.

Seals released from East Winch centre: Pictures submitted

Seals released from East Winch centre: Pictures submitted - Credit: Archant

The nine juvenile common seals and one juvenile grey seal were all treated by staff and volunteers at RSPCA East Winch wildlife centre, near King's Lynn.

The common seals all have names from the solar system and the smallest weighed 10.3kg when it was rescued, and 41.5kg on release.

The grey seals all have names from Star Wars. Han Solo was admitted on December 5 last year weighing 18.5kg, and was released weighing 46kg.

Sue Levings, centre administrator, said: 'After releasing 10 seals we still have 52 sick seals in the hospital.

Seals released from East Winch centre: Pictures submitted

Seals released from East Winch centre: Pictures submitted - Credit: Archant

'To build up the seals while they are in care they are fed on a high-fat and high-protein diet of mackerel and have up to 3kg of fish a day before their release – to feed one seal for a week can cost over £28.

'With the growing number of seals on the Norfolk coast, please remember to observe them from a distance and keep dogs on a lead as seals will defend themselves and bite if approached.'

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For 25 years, the RSPCA centre has been rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing pups that find themselves in trouble, whether it be eye problems, respiratory infections and malnourishment or broken bones or being separated from their mother too soon.

The centre is not only currently caring for seals but has 44 hedgehogs waiting for warmer weather before they can be released and 30 swans recuperating in waterfowl paddocks.

If you find any sick, injured or orphaned wildlife, take them to RSPCA East Winch (opening hours 8am to 10pm every day) or call the RSPCA helpline on 0300 123 4999.

Have you got an animal story for the EDP? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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