Having already been called out to look for a seal that was not found in Hayle estuary the previous morning, it was not surprising when another report came through from the National Seal Sanctuary at midday on the 2nd, this time we were off to Gwithian at the far end of Hayle beach (about three miles to the East).
Unfortunately, the caller was insistent upon herding the pup back into the sea - despite strong advice from the Animal Care Team to wait for Medics to arrive due to the eye problem he had described! Within five minutes Medic Dan Jarvis was on the beach, shortly followed by Coordinator Dave Jarvis and Medic Lesley Jarvis, but by this time the caller had already shooed the pup into the sea and left. We spread out and walked along the busy beach, covering around 1.5 miles between us, but there was no sign of the pup. We informed the Sanctuary and headed home.
At 10:45pm that night another call from Medic/Vet Nurse Jenny Haley at Duchy Veterinary Surgery in Newquay with RSPCA ACO John Phipps, who had just received a call that sent us over to Porthgwidden beach, St Ives, where a seal had been reported lying next to the path near the top of the beach. Coordinator Tim Bain was contacted and went to find the pup while Dave, Lesley and Dan loaded up the seal cage and advised the Seal Sanctuary. While awaiting our arrival, Tim assessed the pup under torchlight with the help of the callers who had stayed with the pup until help arrived. He found it to be underweight with some minor bite wounds and also squinting in one eye - a good description of the pup that we had been chasing around St Ives Bay for the last couple of days (third time lucky)!
Senior Animal Care Assistant Tamara Cooper was updated on the pup´s condition and agreed to meet us at the Seal Sanctuary. The pup, lying in an awkward position on the rocks, was pinned down by Tim while Dave and Dan held the cage below it against the sloping rock surface, whereupon the seal was slid inside. It was then taken up to the car and transported to the Sanctuary after the people who had reported it named it ´Bailey´.
On arrival the pup was allocated a pen in the Isolation unit and left to rest before Chris Ellis (Medic and Sanctuary Maintenance Team member) and Tamara (Chris´ better half) carried out the clinical examination. By now it was after midnight.
Once the exam was finished, Bailey was tube fed fluids to rehydrate him and then left for the night. It was well after 1:30am on the 3rd when everyone arrived home, but our work for the new day was only just beginning.