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


2007-10-20 15:49:02

Seal pups released from BDMLR Highland Unit

On the 20th of October Angus and Seoras were released back to the wild. On Friday evening they were taken from the pool back into the unit and tagged ready for their journey back to Skye in the morning. Weights were: Angus 33kg and Soeras 37kg. Normally these seals would be released once they hit the target of 30kg but due to a delay in the Tags arriving ( thanks royal mail ) and also delays getting our pool installed these guys were held back slightly.

In the morning they were loaded into their transport boxes and into the van. Heather and I then drove to Portree on Skye to Mairi Mcloeds family vet practice at Barnisdale. After another quick rest and check over we drove about 40 minutes north to a lovely secluded bay that had a couple of islands that have a good seal population. This spot also had some good sheltered spots so they can get used to being back in the wild without having to be at the mercy of the wind or tides.

The boys were taken to a quiet part of the peninsular, the end of the dirt road actually, and the lids were taken off and the boys were tipped out. Angus was into the water and playing amongst the seaweed, always keeping an eye on Seoras, who was not quite sure what was happening, he would go in the water then come out looking at me then looking at Angus. After a while he worked out that the water was where he needed to be so we then moved off the rocky beach and away from the immediate area. We watched them from a distance up on a grass bank and left them to look after themselves. They both looked pleased to be back where they belong.

The couple who live on the peninsular always see seals on these beachs and watch out for them regularly and so they will keep an eye out for the boys, who are identifiable by the orange flipper tags, so its reassuring to know someone will spot them if they get into trouble in the first few days while the readjust.

Definitely a very rewarding release as, I am sure your aware, both of these guys were well premature when they arrived at the hospital, so very satisfying to see them go from around 5kg to 30 odd and get back where they belong.

We also have Leo and Lilly ready to go this coming Thursday and the other commons should be back to the wild within the next four weeks or so.

I would also like to thank all the medics who have helped out over the season, medics, family, friends and organisations who have raised funds, all of which have allowed us to take these seals and give them the best standard of care and then give them their chance back in the wild. I would also like to thank Divemaster insurance for its generous support in keeping the unit open and allowing a high standard to be maintained. To Sue, for everything, it would take a whole couple of pages to list what she has done to keep us operational, you’re a star. And finally to all at head office, all the Directors, Trevor, James, Tony, literally everyone who had faith in the plan, Last but not least, Alan Knight, thanks for everything but especially the opportunity and vision. We have had some problems but when you see them go back its all worth it. This is hopefully the start of many seal pups we can help when in trouble. The success is a team effort and BDMLR is one big team that should be proud of what it has and will continue to achieve for these seals.

Jamie Dyer
Scotland Coordinator/Highland Seal Pup Unit Manager