Wandering seal pup returns from Portuguese adventure

A grey seal pup that wandered more than 1,000 miles returns this week from Portugal.

Washed up on a Portuguese beach last winter, eight-month-old seal pup Darwin has been cared for at the Zoomarine sea mammal centre in the Algarve.

Now back in tip top condition he arrives at the National Seal Sanctuary this week and into the care of Sanctuary curator Dr Glenn Boyle and the entire Animal Care Team.

His very first challenge will be mixing with the other seal pups at the National Seal Sanctuary and learning how to compete for food.

Darwin will spend a few more weeks building up strength and stamina at the Sanctuary in Gweek before being released to rejoin the grey seal colonies around the Cornish coast.

Dr Boyle has a long association with Zoomarine.

"In 1997 I helped organise the relocation of seven captive-reared seals to Zoomarine, from the University of Guelph in Ontario, where I spent three years running a seal research facility," he said.

Over the past four years he has flown out to Portugal on several occasions to help organise the return trip of other grey seals, including Bianca, Arrifano and Maia to Cornwall, where they were later successfully returned to the wild.

"It´s been long and arduous journey for Darwin, especially in this warm weather, but I´m confident everything will continue to go smoothly now that he’s back in Cornwall and he will be released in the next few weeks," he said.

To arrange to attend the release and for more details, please contact Michelle Drew on 01326 221361.

Press Release date: 28th July 2006