Seal - Conwy areaA North Wales seal pup that was rescued by RSPCA Cymru is recovering well, and it is hoped can be released back to the wild in early 2017.

The pup was collected by the RSPCA on the opposite shore from Conwy town, on November 1, after it was found struggling with an eye injury and with no sign of its mother for a considerable period of time.

Following the rescue, the pup was taken to the Welsh Mountain Zoo for care, rehabilitation and treatment, and is now progressing very well, with release back to the wild planned for the first three months of 2017.

Sporting an identifiable white coat, known as lanugo, the pup has progressed to the hand-feeding stage as part of its rehabilitation, and has completed a course of antibiotics, whilst its wounds have healed.

RSPCA inspector Mike Pugh said:

“It’s fantastic news that this seal pup is on the mend, after such a tough ordeal – with release now hoped for the first three months of 2017.

“The pup was found with a nasty eye injury, and with his mother nowhere to be seen for some time. The pup was also in danger; found next to a busy footpath – but, thankfully, is now well on the road to recovery.”

RSPCA provides detailed advice to members of the public as to what steps should be taken if they spot a seal pup alone.

Inspector Pugh added: “Whilst this pup was clearly in distress, not all lone seal pups have been abandoned. If a mother does not return within 24 hours, or if a pup is sick and injured, people should keep a safe distance and contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.”

The Zoo’s Director Nick Jackson said “The Zoo’s record in the care and rehabilitation of seals, dates back to the early 1960’s. Seals rescued anywhere in the Irish Sea can be safely released anywhere else in the same body of water.

“Research has shown that seals we have previously released in Penrhyn Bay have ended up as far as the islands off the west coast of Scotland – so we know they move around! They are cared for and nurtured during their time with us here and when our keepers feel that they are strong enough to make their own way, they are released back into the wild.”

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