[Seal Hospital]
Some seals arrive at the Sanctuary in a very sick and injured condition and in some cases close to death. The dedicated Animal Care Team will often work throughout the night to do everything possible to stabilise the seal´s condition.

For the Animal Care Team the daily routine begins each morning, often before sunrise. The pups are checked one by one, with the weakest and sickest being tended to first. Each pup has its own programme of treatment and prescribed medication, which has to be administered every day. It may have a blood sample taken to check if infections are under control and its temperature is closely monitored to ensure the stability of its condition.

When the pup first arrives it is fed every four hours, including through the night. Gradually, as its condition stabilises and it gets stronger, the frequency of the feeds decrease over an agreed period.
PrinceRescued seal pup
If the pup is less than three weeks old, it will be fed with liquidised fish and a mixture of glucose and electrolyte solution, which has the texture of a thick milkshake and is the closest we can get to its mother´s milk.

As well as containing vitamins and minerals, it is rich in protein and will be fed directly into the pup´s stomach via a tube.
WeasleydaleWensleydale - tube feeding
On reaching three weeks old, the pup is gradually weaned on to whole fish. Often at this stage it has to be forcefed, but eventually it associates the fish being offered as the food it calls out for.
When the young pup reaches the target weight of about 20 kilograms and is free from any wounds or infection, it is considered well on the road to recovery and its time in the hospital is nearly over. It will now be moved to an outdoor recovery seal pups pool to gain further body weight and strength needed to ensure its safety when finally returned to the sea.
Pups recovery pool
Before being moved, however, a small identification tag is attached to its rear flipper,
right for a girl, left for a boy.
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Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary / hunstanton@sealsanctuary.co.uk