TWO seals have been released back into the wild off the Gower coastline.
The seals have been in RSPCA care for the past few months after they were rescued from Freshwater West in Pembrokeshire. They were initially collected by Terry Leadbetter from Welsh Marine Life Rescue and then passed onto the RSPCA.
Both seals were only around a week old when they came into RSPCA care. They both still had their juvenile white coats with various wounds and injuries including eye injuries most likely to have been caused by older seals.
RSPCA animal collection officer Ellie West said the two seals have been successfully rehabilitated at RSPCA’s East Winch Wildlife Centre and she is delighted to see them go back into the wild.
“This is always the best part of the job,” she said during the release at Port Eynon in the Gower, Swansea, which saw the duo confidently and eagerly swim away out to sea.
“Both were under 15kg when collected and now the female is 43kg and the male 54kg. So they have done well in care and are now ready to be released back into the wild where they are meant to be.”
“They have reached their optimum release weight and have identification tags in their hind flippers for ID purposes. At the RSPCA we regularly receive sightings and reports of previous inpatients the wildlife hospitals have rehabilitated, telling us how long they have survived and how far they have travelled.
“Whilst these seals had eye injuries, previous studies have shown that they continue to thrive in the wild as their whiskers are one of the most important tools in hunting,” added ACO West.
These pups were obviously in distress when found but not all lone seal pups have been abandoned. If you find a seal pup that looks fit and healthy and shows no signs of distress monitor it first from a safe distance for 24 hours. Please don’t touch seal pups (as they can give a nasty bite) and keep dogs and other animals away from them.
If the mother does not return within 24 hours, or you think that the pup is sick or injured – please keep a safe distance and call our 24-hour advice and cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
A seal on a busy public beach (adults, children, dogs around or close to the seal) is likely to be sick or injured so please contact the RSPCA’s 24hr advice line on 0300 1234 999.
If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).