The National Seal Sanctuary issued a special thank -ou this week to the hundreds of sponsors and donors who have helped the Sanctuary take care of its biggest influx of casualties for nearly a decade.

No fewer than 44 pups, many of them injured or separated from their mothers in severe winter storms, were rescued from all corners of the Cornish coastline by the Sanctuary´s animal care team, BDMLR volunteers and RSPCA Officers.

"The feed and veterinary bills for each pup can run to £1,000 or more," explained manager Judy Williams, "so the generosity of our sponsors and other benefactors is vital.

"Having so many pups in has almost completely drained our rescue funds,"she added, "and of course it has meant many long, hard days for the members of the animal rescue team."

The Sanctuary has dedicated a page of its website at to thanking it´s supporters, and will reinforce its gratitude in the next issue of a sponsors´ newsletter which goes out in June.

Meanwhile the Sanctuary staff are still looking after 25 of the 44 pups rescued this season. We still have some pups in the hospital, who are not recovered enough to go to the nursery pools outside. Once in the nursery pools, pups will compete for fish against each other, before moving on to the last stage of the rehabilitation programme. Once seals have reached 40 kgs, this is an ideal weight to release them, but this can take anything up to 5 months.

Three more seals are due to be released this week from the Sanctuary. Over the last few months we have released 12 pups, due to the good weather we have been having in Cornwall. Reports have started to come through that these pups have been seen around the Cornish coast line and are doing really well.

For more information contact Judy Williams on Tel: 01326 221361.