Seal Flown Home After Straying 1,000 Miles Off Course

A grey seal pup found stranded a thousand miles from home on the beach near Sagres, Portugal has enjoyed a free flight home.

The pup was rescued by staff from the Zoomarine rescue centre in the Algarve resort of Albufeira in January and treated for dehydration and an ulcer in his left eye.

Christened Ludo, he is now ready to return to the wild off the UK´s Cornish coast from where he probably set off on his big adventure some time last summer.
Ludo Portugal´s gave Ludo free passage from Faro to Heathrow, from where he was driven to the Cornish Seal Sanctuary.

"We will keep him in our nursery pools for a period just to make sure he´s fighting fit, but unless he shows signs of ill health should be ready to release in two or three weeks," said the Sanctuary´s animal care supervisor Tamara Cooper.
The Cornish coast hosts the world´s biggest population of grey seals, and their distribution only extends as far south as the coast of Brittany.

"It´s most like he came from our own seas, and for reasons known only to himself followed the Gulf Stream south last autumn," said Tamara.

"Maybe he was just desperate to escape our lousy winter weather."
Sahara Ludo will be fitted with an i.d. tag before release, and Tamara and her colleagues will be hoping he doesn´t do what an arctic hooded seal did when they released him in 2007 after he too had wandered to the Mediterranean.

That seal, Sahara (photo left), went straight back to Spain.
Press Release issued by the Cornish Seal Sanctuary
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Issue Date: 11th August 2014