A seal who was admitted to the RSPCA after getting stuck in a drain on a beach has been released back to the wild after a 138-day recovery.
Common seal Tyrion arrived at the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, in Nantwich, Cheshire, in July last year after being rescued from Bagillt, in Flint, North Wales, by Chris Cureton and his team from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
He weighed only 10kg when he arrived, far below the ideal weight of 40kg. But after months of rehabilitation, staff from Stapeley finally released Tyrion – named after the Game of Thrones character – back to the North Wales beach where he was found.
Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange, said: “Tyrion was really underweight when he arrived at the centre. Seals are initially tube-fed a rehydrate solution and then slowly moved onto a nutritious fish soup. After a couple of weeks we try them on whole fish, usually herring, initially force feeding them until eventually they start to take on their own.
“He started to thrive and began to take fish on his own, by which point he was transferred to another of our wildlife facilities in Norfolk, where he could socialise and compete for food with others.
“Rehabilitating a seal is an expensive and long process but it is definitely worth it, especially that heartwarming moment when they are returned back to the wild.”
RSPCA advice on seals
Please do not touch the seal. They can give a nasty bite, which will become infected by the bacteria that live in a seal’s mouth.
Do not allow dogs or other animals to harass a seal – it could be scared back into the water and washed out to sea by strong currents.
Never put a seal pup back in the sea as it may get into difficulty. Many pups are suffering from pneumonia and the last thing they want or need is to go back into the water. Seals tend to get themselves as far away from the water as they can when they are sick and the RSPCA has found them some distance inland.
If you have concerns about an animal please call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.
A video of the release can be downloaded here.