British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (photo: Steve Marsh)
British Divers Marine Rescue


2007-06-27 15:39:32

BDMLR Seal Unit Pup update as of 27/6/07

Male Harbour seal
Arrived 17/6/07
Found Loch Melfort on the Isle of Skye. Angus was spotted struggling in the water by canoeist from an outdoor education centre. He was lifted onto a canoe and taken to shore from where he was then driven to Fort William and collected by the SSPCA by Gill from Inverness. Gill then passed Angus onto myself at my home in Garve for the short drive to the Seal Hospital in Ullapool. The first arrival in the newly setup unit.

Condition: Premature pup estimated to only be between 24 and 48 hours old, still covered with thick leguno coat, no teeth. Weighing in at a very light (approx) 5.6kg his body condition was not too bad he is just a tiny premature pup. After his initial 3 feeds being hydration fluid he then moved onto Multi Milk mixed with salmon oil.He spent his first week getting fed every 4 hours , 5 x daily and now its only 4 x daily. At current time Angus is progressing well and has been putting on the weight and is now 7.7kg and like the rest of the pups seems to be a happy, easy going pup. He is quite active and likes interaction when cleaning and feeding.

Seoras: Gaelic for George
Male Harbour Seal
Arrived 20/6/07
Found on the Isle of Skye, Seoras was originally picked up by a fisherman who spotted the pup struggling about a mile offshore and was trying to get onto his boat. He scooped the pup out of the water and returned home to call the SSPCA who collected the pup the following day. This was done by a local inspector Maree Mcnab who actually came to the Medic course in Inverness a week later. At the time we were still setting the unit up and awaiting electricity (we still are at this time) so it was arranged for the pup to go to Mairi Mcleod at Pierce and oConner vet surgery on Skye to hold until we could get it some place to go. Seoras was another premature pup who weighed only 5.5kg estimated to be around three days old. In the end it came to ourselves after a fortnight with Mairi being cared for round the clock and on arrival at the hospital he weighed a huge 9.3kg. Mairi is experienced with rehab and has experience of seals both in the UK and Europe and I have dealt with Mairi on numerous occasions and new the pup was in perfect, loving hands. Seoras is just like his brothers in that he seems happy with his new surroundings and plays with the small ball he came with from the vets. This is important for his stimulation when spending time alone in the pens. He will later today be doubled up with Angus and this should be very beneficial for their development.

Male Harbour Seal
Arrived 20/6/07
Rescued Beauly near Inverness
Loe was spotted lying on the shore looking thin and sorry for himself by a passing cyclist. Inverness coordinator Natalie Simmons called myself and James Barnett for advice after medic Linda ..... Responded and observed the pup. Linda sent several photographs by mobile phone which made the decision easier, that we should lift. Linda observed in the morning then checked at lunchtime, always looking for signs of the mother who never returned, to finally lift the pup around 5pm. Linda then drove the pup to Garve for myself to take to the Hospital for its full assessment. Leo looked quite thin being around 5 days old weighing in at 7.7kg ( the first pup on our newly arrived scales) Thin, dehydrated and looking a bit sad for himself he soon perked up and is now settling into his feed routine. He is an easy going pup and weight wise is 8.4kg.

Female harbour seal
Arrived 26/6/07
Rose only arrived last night from SSPCA Inverness. She was picked up near North Kessock after being observed both onland and in the water. Rose is around 3 to 4 days old is very thin. Her weight is 7.4 kg and like our other pups there are no obvious physical injuries. Currently being given Hydration fluid. She is another easy going, easy to handle pup.

Unit update:
The unit is working well and the required work is taking shape, this was boosted by the excellent work and the generous donation of time and labour by Richard, Davey and Jim from Thurso. We will hopefully have electricity connected in the next week but in the meantime have a extension lead from Beatrices house. While this is inconvenient to say the least we can still connect heat lamps and I can boil the kettle to heat the milk. The milk is Disappearing at a rapid rate, this is due to having so many young/premature pups who require longer on the milk as the need the full 3 weeks. We may also need to put out an appeal to medics in the surrounding area for towels, as these to are in short supply. All in all we are doing what we set out to do. And while some things are still to be sorted and routines, sampling, training need to be developed and sorted the basic purpose of getting these pups to somewhere they can be looked after rather than left on the beach is being achieved. While its taken a lot of planning, hard work, dedication and a fair bit of faith BDMLR can so far, I believe, see the effort rewarded when seeing these pups getting healthy and growing.

It is still early days for these pups especially the premature ones as has been seen in the past they can be knocked down quickly by an infection or such mainly through being separated from their mother at such an early age. But so far so good, as this is certainly a group of fattening contented pups.

They get my seal of approval!!!!!!!!!!

Jamie Dyer
BDMLR Seal Unit Manager/NW Highland Coordinator

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