Seven Seals Go Back To Sea
Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary is planning its biggest ever simultaneous release of rescued seal pups.

No fewer than seven pups will regain their freedom on Tuesday 15th November 2011 after months of patient care and feeding from the Sanctuary´s dedicated rescue team.

Common seal pups Linda, Lisa, Tracy, Robbie, Vicky, Katie and Simon will be released on Snettisham Beach at 9am, and staff are confident they will soon find their way into the surf and head out into the Wash.
Simon Of the seven, Simon (photo left) is the one whose survival defied the odds, and whose release will provide the most satisfaction for his carers.

"He was rescued from Cley on 27th July in a terrible state," said Sanctuary team member Hollie Stephenson.

"He had minor injuries but had clearly been abandoned, and was also badly malnourished and dehydrated," she added. "Once we got him into our hospital we discovered he also had gingivitis and a nasty ear infection."
But Simon was a fighter, and against all expectation gradually regained his health and started to build strength and stamina. Now he is fit enough to join the mass exodus with all his fellow rescues.

"We are hoping that being part of a larger group will give all of them extra confidence and help them quickly find their way to the nearest wild colony," said Hollie.

Kate, Robbie and Lisa all arrived at the end of June, and all were actually rescued from Snettisham after being separated from their mothers in heavy storms. Vicky was also rescued after the same storms.
Linda (photo right) arrived on 12th July suffering deep wounds to her face, body and flippers which were thought to have been inflicted by an adult seal.

She was a yearling, and had actually been rescued once before as a few-day-old pup, by another Norfolk seal sanctuary.

Tracy was also around a year old when rescued from the sands at Burnham Overy Staithe at the end of July suffering from lungworm and minor injuries.
The planned release will be a major operation involving several members of the Sanctuary team.

The big outdoor convalescence pool will first be drained, and then each pup will be herded into a stretcher which will be secured at either end for the journey.

The seven neatly trussed pups will be loaded in the back of a van for the short journey to Snettisham Beach, where they will be placed on the sand and their restraints removed.

"The sound of the surf and the salt air should do the rest," said Hollie.

"We´ll miss them because we've got to know them all so well," she added, "but at the same time it will be great to see them back in the wild where they belong."

Issued by the Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary
For more details, please contact Nigel Croasdale on 01485 533576
Date: 14th November 2011

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