Common seal pup Yorkie has become the first patient of the year at the seal hospital at Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary.
The alarm was raised by a walker on Heacham beach who spotted Yorkie on the sand, still with his umbilical cord attached.
″A watch was mounted in the hope that Yorkie´s mum would soon return, but after several hours it became clear she was long gone and Yorkie was brought in for his own good″, said curator Kieran Copeland.
″He’s a pretty healthy little fella but wouldn´t have survived very long at all without his mother feeding him.
″Luckily we´re managing to get plenty of milk substitute into him every four hours, round the clock, and he should do just fine.″
Yorkie´s arrival has prompted the Sanctuary to issue a special reminder to anyone venturing onto Norfolk´s beaches over the summer to try and steer well clear of any pups they see.
″Although it doesn´t appear to have been the case with Yorkie, many rescues result from humans getting too close to new born pups, prompting the mother to abandon them,″ said Kieran.
″Dogs will often attack or worry pups they come across, so dog-walkers should be particularly vigilant.
″The right procedure is to keep watch from as far away as possible, and if there´s no sign of an adult after a couple of hours, then call either the Sanctuary or the RSPCA,″ he added.
All being well, Yorkie will move into the outdoor seal pool in about a month´s time, and spend another two months building strength and putting on weight before returning to the wild.
For more details contact: Nigel Croasdale on 01485 533576.
Press Release date: 21st June 2005