WHAT better story to start the Standard’s newest feature, than the tale of two rescued seals being nurtured back to health then released back into the open sea.
Staff at Natureland Seal Sanctuary in Skegness, will be updating readers on their residents’ latest shenanigans in our regular Seal Watch instalment - and this week, read how Olympic inspired seal pair, Usain Bolt and Daley Thompson were found.
Unlike the real Olympian Usain Bolt, Natureland were alerted to a tiny Harbour seal pup in trouble at South Parade, Skegness beach on June 20.
Weighing just nine kilograms, the infant, who should have weighed nearer 30kg, was taken to the seal hospital in North Parade.
“He should have weighed triple that in weight, but he hadn’t got enough milk from his mother and we took him in after he was found in a weak and dehydrated condition,” explained Duncan Yeadon, director.
The pup was named Usain Bolt inspired by the summer’s Olympic Games and Natureland’s name theme for the year. He was given treatment and a course of antibiotics.
“After six days, he was on to hand feeding and then after 10 days, we moved him to the hospital pool. It takes us three months to replicate the blubber that they would have put on in the wild,” said Duncan.
Usain’s seal pal, Daley, was rescued from the same beach on July 19 and was thought to be only four or five days old, weighing just 10 kg.
“He was exhausted and we put him on the same treatment as Usain,” added Duncan.
The pair were released on Wednesday morning off Skegness beach and they both swam happily into the open sea.
Speaking about animal rescue, director Duncan said ‘it was hugely satisfying’ to rear the pups back to full weight and then release them back into the wild for their ‘second chance’. He added: “When we rescue the seals and animals, we don’t get tempted to keep them because that’s not what it is about, it’s about giving them their second chance at life in the wild.”
Meanwhile, the centre isn’t just about seals, as Matt Yeadon, Duncan’s nephew travelled to Melton Mowbray to enter the soay sheep, some of which are based at Natureland into a top competition.
And one of the flock, Daryl, the Marshwold soay sheep was entered into the Babylon Cup for the Champion at the National Rare Breed Show where she picked up the prize.
Matt Yeadon, with Marshwold Daryl the Soay Sheep with the Babylon Cup for the
As well as, Usain and Daley who have begun life back in the sea, other seal’s rescued this summer, also with Olympic inspired names, include Tom (Daley) rescued June 23, 2012, Jess (Ennis) rescued August 3, 2012, Greg (Rutherford) rescued September 19, 2012 and another rescued on September 21, 2012, as yet un-named.
So that’s it for the first instalment of Seal Watch, look out soon for updates about Wiggins the seal pup who was born at Natureland earlier this year and plenty more.