Seals released back into the wild by Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary
- Credit: Archant
Eight young seals were released back into the wild today after being cared for a Norfolk marine sanctuary.
All were found abandoned as pups on beaches around Hunstanton this summer and taken to the resort's Sea Life Sanctuary.
They were fed on oil-rich fish to build their weight up until they were ready for release.
Weighing around 10kg at birth, experts at the sanctuary say the animals should weigh at least 25kg before being released.
This morning keepers rounded up the seals by draining their pool, before they were caught in special slings and weighed.
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All eight were good to go, with some weighing nearer 40kg after being well fed at the sanctuary.
'We feed them pretty much exclusively herring,' said lead aquarist Natalie Emmerson. 'It's very good for the weight gain.
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'In the pool with the adults they learn to be seals again, especially the ones that came in as abandoned pups.'
After the weigh-in, the animals were carried to the nearby beach ready for release.
While they might have spent most of their lives in a pool, they knew exactly what to do as the slings were loosened.
Watched by a couple of dog walkers, they slid down the shingle and back into the sea.