Staff at the National Seal Sanctuary has this week given a temporary home to a rare hooded seal.
The nine-month-old seal was found washed up on a beach in Tenerife, many hundreds of miles from its home in the Arctic.
Badly malnourished and missing all of its fur, the seal was taken to local marine centre Loro Parque where it has been nursed back to health over the last four months.
‘Sahara’ as the pup was called, is no longer malnourished, but is still completely bald.
“Sahara has an under active thyroid and has been brought to the Sanctuary for a full veterinary assessment,” said Tamara Cooper, Senior Animal Care Assistant.
“We have a number of residents that suffer from this condition. We will monitor his progress over the coming months to see if it is possible to release him.”
Hooded seals are a migratory species and occasionally visit Europe, before returning to the Arctic. This seal went a little too far and ended up off the coast of Morocco.
Sahara was flown back to the UK on Monday (2nd April 2007), and then made the six-hour trip to Cornwall in a Sanctuary rescue vehicle. When he arrived he was a little reluctant to get out of his cage, but with a little encouragement from the Animal Care Team, he was soon in the pool and even managed to eat a few fish.
“It will take him a few days to settle in to his new surroundings and get used to the new pool.” added Tamara