SOS logo S.O.S. Update National Seal Sanctuary
Issue 48
18th September 2010

Cutiest little Babyface
On Wednesday 15th September 2010 Clare (Senior Animal Care Team) and Rachael (Adoptions/Fundraising) made the long journey up to Colchester Zoo to pick up the lonely Common seal Babyface. They arrived early afternoon and headed to the enclosure to meet him. Babyface is the cutiest little seal and we also watched his target training and afternoon feed which he was very good at. The cage was unloaded ready for the morning to collect Babyface and make the journey back to Cornwall.
Babyface in his enclosure at Colchester Zoo
Babyface in his enclosure at Colchester Zoo
On Thursday morning (16th September 2010) the Sanctuary team and staff from Colchester Zoo were ready to catch Babyface and transfer him to the cage. Babyface had a better idea and decided to make his own way out of the enclosure and into the corridor where the cage was and get into it himself. With the seal all loaded, there were a few sad farewells from the staff, but all hoped he would have a very happy life in Cornwall.

On the road a few hours later and the van we were using broke down. Luckily the Highways Agencies, Mark Kimble and Gary Perl, managed to get all three off the road and into a nearby service station. Babyface was doing well and seemed happy in the back of the van being kept cool with regular showers and ice blocks on top of his cage. With Babyface happy, it was now a race to find another van and get the team and the seal back on course and the journey to Cornwall. A call was placed and Matt Ford came to the rescue, and with the help of the Highways Agency, Babyface was moved from one van into the other, and the adventure could continue, hopefully with no more events.

Five hours later Clare, Rachael and Babyface had made it back to Gweek and the Sanctuary.
Highways Agencies helping to move Babyface
Highways Agencies helping to move Babyface
Once here we had a team of staff waiting for the arrival to off load and get Babyface into the pool to join Luna and Sija. The cage was opened and after a few minutes Babyface stuck his nose out the cage and had a look round, Luna and Sija also came to the side of the pool to see what all the fuss was about and as he slipped into the water, Sija came over to him and gave him a big sealy kiss. Babyface had a good look around before eating the fish that had been thrown for him.

Babyface has been at the Sanctuary for two days and is settling in well, he puts Luna and Sija to shame as he is so much better at target training and he is enjoying the attention from the visitors.

Babyface is 32 years old and missing an eye but is very cute despite his age and looks. He is also now available for adoption.
Babyface settled at the sanctuary
Babyface settled at the sanctuary
2010-2011 Pup Season
This winter's pup season has started with our first two patients arriving at the Sanctuary, first there was Boo followed the next day by Pearl.

Boo was found on St Marys, one of the islands that make up the Isles of Scilly, in a harbour, with the tide out she was receiving lots of attention from members of the public. With her mum no where in sight, a call was placed to the BDMLR who sent out one of their medics to the scene.

The Sanctuary was called and asked if we could take the pup. The pup was caged and taken to the heliport on St Mary´s ready for the short journey to Penzance where it was met by Amy and Jenna from the Sanctuary's Animal Care Team, it was given fluid for the trip back to Gweek.

At the hospital Boo was put into isolation pen number 2 and given a complete clinical check over. Boo is a little girl and weighs in at 13 kilos and is around 4 days old, apart from a high temperature Boo is doing well.
Boo in isolation at the sanctuary
Boo in isolation at the sanctuary
Also on Wednesday 15th September 2010 we received a call about another pup also only a few days old and still with it's white fluffy coat near Godrevy. Unfortunately due to the location of the seal it would need an abseil team to rescue the pup. With too many seals on the beach, the rescue had to be put on hold until rescuers could safely get on the beach without disturbing the whole colony.

The next morning very early at around 5.30am volunteers from both BDMLR and the Cornwall Seal Group, who had been monitoring the pup over the last few days, managed to get a team down the cliff and uplift the seal where it was then transported to the Sanctuary.
Pearl before transport to the sanctuary
Photo taken by the Cornwall Seal Group
At the Sanctuary the expert Animal Care Team could start a full clinical assessment of the abandoned pup. This little girl has been named Pearl. At only 3 days old she is underweight at 12 kilos, she also had a few grazes on her chin and cheek plus a puncture wound to her body and right & left front flippers.

Pearl is doing well in the hospital, we would like to thank the parties involved in her rescue, the Sanctuary staff now have the hard task of doing midnight feeds for both pups and the long journey of rehabilitation over the next few months.
Pearl safely at the sanctuary
Pearl safely at the sanctuary
Animal Adoptions and Donations
If you would like to help with the cost of rehabilitation, it can cost up to £1500 to rehab each pup, you can help by taking out
an adoption.
If you do find a pup on the beach, please call the Sanctuary on 01326 221361, and follow this advice:-

DON´T attempt to handle the pup.

DON´T attempt to put the pup back in the sea.

DO keep your distance.

DON´T ignore the situation.

DO tell the National Seal Sanctuary call 01326 221361.
Seal Pup in the wild Adoptions start from £25,
click on this link
for more information or
email the adoption coordinator at

Make a donation, click here for more details.