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Sea Life Scarborough Releases 5 Seal Pups
Sea Life Scarborough says good bye to five healthy seal pups as they’re released back into the wild.

The staff at Sea Life Scarborough has recently waved farewell to five seal pups as they returned to the wild. The pups had been cared for by the aquarium since July.

The four common seal pups – Baron, Jane, Marjorie and Margaret and a grey seal pup, Habanero were all rescued over the summer for a range of different issues, most commonly abscesses in their mouths which affect their ability to eat. The animal care team at Sea Life worked hard to treat these issues in the dedicated seal rescue hospital before rehabilitating the pups in the main seal pool prior to their release.

With the help of the RSPCA and their boats, the little ones were returned to a local colony where they can continue feeding up ahead of the colder months.

Senior aquarist Todd German who coordinated the release said, “This is the best outcome we could have hoped for. Some of these pups weren’t looking too good when we rescued them so it’s a huge success that we’ve managed to return them all to the wild.

“Particularly for the common seal pups, which were only a few weeks old when they arrived, it has been very encouraging seeing them gain weight and grow into the chunky little guys we released today.”

Sea Life Scarborough has been rescuing and releasing seal pups for over 20 years, cares for over 30 pups on average every year.

The common seal breeds in summer and the grey seal in winter so the team is kept busy almost all year round.

As we move into the winter months and the grey seal pupping season Todd explains the need for humans to keep their distance around wild seals on the beach, “We’ve seen a high level of disturbance in Ravenscar this summer, which is a growing colony.

Whilst it’s great that people are getting out into nature and visiting the wildlife in this area, it is important that we respect the animals. Keeping our distance is the most important thing to remember.

“Seals don’t know we’re not a predator and we can easily frighten them if we get too close. With a good set of binoculars you get just as good a view, and the animals won’t be scared off into the sea.”

Dos and Don'ts

Below are a list of Todd’s top Dos and Don’ts for behaving around wild seals to ensure both us and them have the best experience when visiting them on the beaches:

Don’t touch a seal if you find one on the beach, whilst they are cute and fluffy, these are wild animals and they can bite. The bond between mother and pup is very strong and she recognises her baby using scent. Touching them increases the chance the mother will abandon her pup.
Don’t attempt to put a seal back into the sea. If it is weak, swimming will use a lot of energy. If they’re on the beach it will be for a good reason, for example when pups are very young they are often left on beaches whilst their mother goes to hunt. Or, if they’re not feeling well, just like us the last place they want to be is in the freezing North Sea!
Do keep a sensible distance and keep dogs on leads; we’ve seen seal pups bitten by dogs before, and dogs bitten by seals. If another animal’s scent rubs off onto the pup, the mother will more than likely abandon them.
Do call the RSPCA, British Diver’s Marine Life Rescue or Sealife Scarborough, 01723 373414 ext.8 if you’re ever concerned about a seal on the beach. Let us know how big they look, the location and if there are any obvious cuts or abrasions. This will help us to take the correct kit to the scene.

Sea Life Scarborough Releases 5 Seal Pups, 21st November 2017, 17:06 PM