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


2006-11-01 13:19:16

Skarfskerry (Scotland) seal pup rescue

Our November calls started on the 1st day of the month. At about 11.45am I received a call from one of the team who had been contacted by the local SSPCA regarding a pup that had been reported to them the day before. After getting the details of the original reporter, I contacted HO to let them know the score and that arrangements were being made to take a trip out to the pup at 2pm.

I met Mandy at Dunnet Ranger Station car park at 13.45 and we set off for Scarfskerry to meet up with the very nice couple that had made the original call. Both of them were out to meet us as we drove up the track to show us where the pup was, which was very good of them as it was raining, hailing and very windy coming straight off the sea and into us on the rocks.

We spotted the pup near the bottom of the small cliff and we both looked at each other and knew it would be a lift straight away. Davey went back to the car for the seal bag and the larger towel, I collected my rubber gloves and off we went for a small climb to give him a closer inspection. When we got closer we could see that he had a pussy umbilical area, very sticky eyes, he was sort of sneezing every now and then, blood in his mouth and under his chin from what I can only guess is being bashed about on the rocks and both flippers on the underside were red raw and bleeding and looked pussy in places. He wasn’t a happy bunny with us but only when we got to within a foot of his head which he then would use to turn round and snap and spit and snarl at us with, but it seemed he was too tired to try and move properly. I must apologise for the lack of photographs of him in situ, but the weather was a little severe.

I dropped a towel on him and we maneuvered him into the bag to get him back up the cliff. The couple told us that they had not seen any adults in the area the two days they had been watching him, but he was not at all skinny, he had maybe only been without feed a day or two so possibly got washed around in the storms recently. After getting him up the cliff, he was transferred into the vari kennel and loaded into Mandy’s car and then we went inside and made a phone call to Jamie. Jamie very kindly got in touch with Bea for us and arrangements were made to meet Michael at Dingwall for the handover of the pup.

We said our thanks to Mr & Mrs Hill, and then set off back to Thurso. After a quick change into dry clothes, Mandy left Thurso for Dingwall and let me know the transfer had taken place at 17.49 and then she arrived safely home at 20.08.

A big thank you to Mandy for coming out and doing the trip south with Skerry and once again a big Thank you to Bea and Jamie for sorting collection/transfer/rehab for him, we all hope he does well and will be right as rain soon.

Paula Gent
Caithness Coordinator