Alfie Returns

We were called out to help Alfie after he had become a potential risk to visitors on the beach at St Ives.

Alfie, a 4 year old Grey Seal, was being fed by people visiting the beach, and this was giving him the confidence to approach humans.

This increasing confidence meant he posed a risk to people, especially if they forgot he was a wild animal, and it was decided to try and move Alfie.
Alfie in one of our Nursery Pools
On 26th of July 2001 Ellen drove up to Bideford with Alfie, and loaded him onto the Lundy supply vessel the MS Oldenburg. They then sailed across to the island, where Alfie was offloaded into the water with the hope that he will join the colony of some 70 Grey seals which live around Lundy. Ellen watched as Alfie swam off, with the help of the rest of our animal care team, Alfie had been wormed, tagged, and had his blood tested.

Unfortunately, Alfie decided to return to St Ives in Cornwall. We had attached a distinctive yellow tag to one of his flippers which had allowed us to monitor his progress as he moved around. He made the long trip to the Cornish mainland in just six days, arriving at Port Isaac on 31st July, and then Alfie slowly moved West up the coast.

Helen, from our animal care team said "It is amazing he has found his way back so quickly. When we released him we had a feeling he might come back. We started getting sightings pretty soon after we released him and we knew what was in his mind. He is a bit unusual, as most seals are shy and go to secluded areas of the coast but he prefers one of the busiest beaches."

Please remember it is important that people to leave him alone. Seals may look sweet but they are wild animals and they should be treated with respect.

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