Thursday, 17 November 2011

So long and thanks for the fish.! Seal release on the Norfolk coast

It was still pitch black when I woke up on Wednesday morning to head to Snettisham to watch seven seal pups be released back into the wild. I'm not going to lie to you, it was hard - almost impossible - to get up at ridiculous o'clock to make my way to the coast but it was totally worth it and made for a cracking online story and picture gallery and looked brilliant on page 3 in today's EDP.

To be able to watch the animal care team from the Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary release the common seal pups and watch them dart straight to the water and to freedom was absolutely brilliant and I could see why the staff were buzzing with excitement when the seals raced to the water.

The seals had been found on beaches around the Norfolk coast in June and July this year and spent the summer and start of autumn rehabilitating at the centre and I was surprised how quickly they got used to their new environment after their release at 7.45am given the amount of care they all had.

The first seals to arrive at the centre were Robbie and Lisa who were both found on Snettisham beach on June 18. Pups Vicky and Katy were the next to be rescued on June 26 and 30, respectively. Vicky was only six-days-old when she was found her on Heacham beach with a small wound above her left eye whereas Katy was showing signs of dehydration when she was found on Snettisham beach.

Staff at the centre then rescued one-year-old Linda who was found on Brancaster beach on July 12 with several cuts on her belly and rear flippers and still bleeding. Two weeks later, pup Simon was found at Cley-next-the-sea, near Holt, with a number of injuries to his body, flippers and around his eye.

The final seal pip to be rescued and rehabilitated was Tracey who was found at Burnham Ovary-Staithe on July 30 with multiple cuts on her flippers and mouth.

While I watched the seals embrace life in the wild I also had a quick chat with Hollie Stephenson, who is part of the animal care team, who pretty much summed up what everyone else was thinking. 

“We’ll miss them because we’ve got to know them all so well but at the same time it is be great to see them go back into the wild where they belong," she told me.

Joker: Me chatting to Hollie on Wednesday
The release of the seven seal pups was also aired live on Daybreak TV and if you click in the below picture and look very closely, you can just about see me stood in the top right-hand corner!

Where's Wally: Were you able to find me?


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