Seal Hospital

A Common seal pupThe coast and sea lochs of Scotland are home to both Grey and Common seals. Many pups of both species run into difficulties in stormy weather, getting injured or being separated from their mothers. In some cases well-meaning humans attempting to help what they perceive to be a pup in trouble unwittingly cause that pup to be abandoned.
The Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary at Oban became involved in the care and conservation of the Common Seal (Phoca vitulina) during 1980 when a young pup was abandoned by her mother and given to the centre by Suffolk Wildlife and Country Park who were unable to care for her. A Common seal pup in one of our pools
Two further pups joined Blondie in 1983, a male named Lorne and another female named Gigha, these two were also firm favourites at the Sanctuary.

After much handling by humans they were unable to return this pup to her natural home, she has remained at the Sanctuary to delight and educate visitors with her graceful behaviour in the lochside pools. Her name was Blondie.
The formation of this community has led to the Oban Sanctuary being the focus for abandoned seal pups on the West Coast of Scotland as well as taking the occasional seal from the East and North Coast. Each year 12-15 pups are handed into the sanctuary, all of these are reared and released back into the wild, with minimum handling from staff, leaving the adult seals to develop and breed in their own specialised environment.
A Common seal pup having treatment The seal pups which are often only days old when they arrive at the Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary, are immediately placed on a special mixture of multimilk and salmon oil, the only known substitute for seals high fat milk.
As soon as their digestion has matured they are slowly weaned onto fish and once they have learnt to feed by themselves they are moved to the outdoor pools until they are heavy enough to be released back into the wild. A Common seal pup being forced fed fish
This programme continues annually and it is the Sanctuary´s aim to return all pups to their natural home in order that the species may survive in its native habitat.

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