A baby seal rescued from a surf beach in Jersey has made a flying visit to one of our wildlife centres.
Wilson the grey seal, thought to be just a couple of weeks old, was flown by plane from Jersey to Southampton last week and then brought to the Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre near Hastings for treatment and care.
He was spotted being thrown back into the sea by a member of the public on Saturday 4 November in La Pulente, Jersey and a local search party, led by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), found him on a corner of a five mile surfing beach the next day.
The seal, so young he still had his fluffy white baby coat, was then flown over to Southampton and then taken by road to Mallydams, the nearest place with space to care for him.
He would not have been able to survive on his own
Richard Thompson, Wildlife Centre Supervisor at Mallydams, said:
“Seals this young are still dependent on their mothers when they still have their white coats like this one. This poor little thing had become separated from his mum and so would not have been able to survive if he had not been taken into care.
“It might seem a bit unusual to put a seal on a plane but it was the only way of getting him here. They don’t have rehabilitation facilities in Jersey and we were the nearest place who could look after him.
“He’s doing great now – really growing up well. We’ve had another seal of a similar age in from Wales on the same day. He hitched his ride on the more conventional van though.”
There was no sign of his parents
Donna de Gruchy, co-ordinator for the BDMLR in Jersey, said:
“We think this little fella probably got washed off the rocks off Jersey in the storms. There and potentially got separated from his mum by the strong winds and high tides.
“He was seen being thrown back into the waves by a passer-by. He no doubt thought he was doing the right thing by returning the young animal to the sea, but actually, once a pup has been separated from his or her mother, the chances of them reuniting are slim. There were no signs of a parent in this case and it was unlikely this poor little thing would have survived had we not flown him over to England.”
We always advise people to be hands off with baby animals like this and monitor them from a distance. More often than not their parents then appear to care for them.
Anyone who comes across a seal should call us on 0300 1234 999 for help and advise.
We can’t do it without you
We can only help animals like this with your help. Please donate online or text HEROto 88010 to give £3 (texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).