Cheers! Grey seal pups saved at RSPCA named after beers including Corona and Hofmeister released back into the sea
PUBLISHED: 14:56 18 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:16 18 May 2017
Rescuing sick or orphaned seal pups can be thirsty work.
But at one Norfolk wildlife centre, nine grey seals found with serious health problems have been nursed back to full health - after being named after some of the country’s favourite beers.
Skull Splitter, Jimmy Riddle, Hofmeister, Mad Goose, Pickled Santa, Corona, Waggle Dance and Norfolk Nog and Skol were admitted to the RSPCA’s East Winch wildlife centre earlier this year.
The six males and three females were rescued from various sites along the east coast earlier this year seriously underweight, or suffering from wounds or lungworm.
The seals started in the intensive care cubicles at the centre, where they are hand-fed, before being moved into the large pools as they began self-feeding and gaining weight until they reached conditions for release.
They were released on Friday, May 12.
Alison Charles, manager of the RSPCA’s East Winch Wildlife Centre, said: “We are so happy to see these gorgeous creatures returning to the wild after having such difficult starts in life.
“We always release seals into the River Nene at Sutton Bridge, in Lincolnshire, on a receding tide. This takes them out to the exposed sandbanks in the Wash where there are other wild seals.
The RSPCA uses this route after data from its satellite tracking study of 2004 showed that this release method is ideal for the seals and gives them a good start to life back out at sea.
From there they are able to return to familiar waters on their own.
Mrs Charles added: “For the purposes of identification, to prevent medication or feeds getting mixed up, we always give our seals names.
“This season, we decided the theme would be beers.”
If you have concerns about an animal, call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 123 9999
RSPCA advice on seals
The RSPCA gives a range of advice to people who might come across injured seals along the Norfolk or Suffolk coast:
• Please do not touch the seal. They can give a nasty bite, which will become infected by the bacteria that live in a seal’s mouth.
• Do not allow dogs or other animals to harass a seal – it could be scared back into the water and washed out to sea by strong currents.
• Never put a seal pup back in the sea as it may get into difficulty. Many pups are suffering from pneumonia and the last thing they want or need is to go back into the water. Seals tend to get themselves as far away from the water as they can when they are sick and the RSPCA has found them some distance inland.