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

News

2005-02-21 15:38:15

Pup rescued from snowy beach - Hunstanton, Norfolk

Kieran Copeland, BDMLR Anglia coordinator and Sea Life animal care manager called me around 8am on Monday morning 21st February.

The day was cold and had seen a few inches of snow over night which still covered the ground. A member of the public walking their dog had come across a young grey seal on the beach at the bottom of the cliffs at Old Hunstanton and had called it in to the Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary.

Since Duane and I live only a few hundred yards from where the seal had been seen and have a 4X4 we were asked to meet Kieran at the Lifeboat station and check the situation out, not that I can blame Kieran for not wanting to walk the beach in that weather!

The pup, a weaned male, had several deep wounds on the back of its head, its back and hind flippers. Also even though it had been sitting on the snow covered beach since the tide left it high and dry, there were no signs of it having moved around, its temperature was over 39 degrees.

Despite all this the pup put up quite a fight attempting to bite everyone and trying to dash under the Landrover to escape its would be rescuers.

It was eventually captured with Duane's jacket as both the Anglian area Coordinator (Kieran) and Safety Coordinator (Duane) had forgotten to bring towels with them. I absolve myself of any responsibility for this here as I had stayed at home with our baby son. The seal was finally bundled into a veri kennel and taken to Sea Life where its wounds were cleaned, one of these turned out to go right to the bone and while another had completely punctured the right hind flipper. The pup is now being given a course of anti-biotic drugs and painkillers and will be fed back up to a suitable release weight, it currently weighs 23kg, before rejoining its companions in the Wash.

Lucie Kirk
National Coordinator
British Divers Marine Life Rescue