- 636 SEALS HAVE BEEN RESCUED BY SEA LIFE HUNSTANTON AND SEA LIFE SCARBOROUGH OVER THE LAST DECADE
- OVER £3 MILLION PUT TOWARDS SEAL RESCUES IN SAME TIME PERIOD
- 500 HOURS ARE SPENT RESCUING AND REHABILITATING EACH SEAL
To celebrate International Day of the Seal (March 22nd), SEA LIFE is shedding light on the amazing work carried out by its incredible seal rescue teams at SEA LIFE Scarborough and SEA LIFE Hunstanton.
In total, the two sites have rescued and rehabilitated 636 over the past 10 years, with staff estimating 500 hours on average has been spent caring for each individual seal.
Seals can require rescuing for several reasons, whether that be pups getting separated from their mum, injury, or an outbreak of disease.
Once rescued, the seals need feeding every few hours, with new pups needing to be taught how to catch and eat fish for themselves, so they can safely be returned to the wild. Staff will also ensure all vitals remain steady, on top of cleaning, food preparation and administering any medicine or treatment when necessary.
As such, the estimated cost for rescuing seals, including working hours, medication, veterinary care, food and giving the seal a safe space for rehab works out at around £5,000 – £8,0000 per sea creature.
Home to Yorkshire’s only Seal Hospital, SEA LIFE Scarborough’s Seal Sanctuary opened in 2008, with SEA LIFE Hunstanton’s dedicated Seal Rescue Centre and Hospital opening back in 1989, helping to rescue and rehabilitate over 750 seals so far.
Nigel Croasdale, General Manager at SEA LIFE Hunstanton, said: “We are delighted to be putting the spotlight on our Animal Care Team and the amazing work at our Seal Hospital this International Day of the Seal. Our staff work so hard to ensure seal populations can thrive and we are immensely proud of the work they do.
“Without these rescue and rehabilitation programmes, local seal populations would almost certainly decrease, so it is vital that we continue to look after the seals in need that turn up on our coastlines.
“Thanks to our Seal Hospital, we can help rehabilitate several seals and we make sure to educate our visitors about how important it is to protect our coastline, so that all species living on it, including seals can flourish, helping to reduce the number of seals that require urgent care. Once released back into the wild, we tag all our seals so we can keep track of their integration back into the sea, it’s fascinating to see how far they travel.”
An example of the work carried out by the teams in Scarborough and Hunstanton is the rescue of Lady, back in April 2019. Lady was discovered on a beach in Scarborough, significantly too small for her age and very skinny. After blood testing, it was clear Lady was fighting an infection, as well as several wounds that the team suspected were from a dog attack.
Despite her poor health, Lady became stronger and stronger thanks to the aid of the Animal Care Team, eventually being released in June 2019. In December 2022, Lady was spotted in the Farne Islands, fit and healthy having integrated back into the wild successfully. For video footage of Lady back in the wild, please view here.
For further information and to book tickets to see the incredible work carried out by SEA LIFE Scarborough and Hunstanton’s Seal Hospitals, please visit the website here: https://www.visitsealife.com/