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


2005-12-19 16:02:25

'Wombat' rescued from near Land's End, Cornwall

Having received a call from Animal Care Assistant Marianne Fellows of the National Seal Sanctuary just before 10am, Coordinator Tim Bain and myself set out to rescue a grey seal pup from Porthgwarra, near Land’s End. It had first been spotted the previous day, and Medic Rory Goodall had assessed it and was advised by the Sanctuary to leave it alone for a tide cycle. Unfortunately it was subsequently chased by dogs into the sea, but had obviously returned later on.

On arrival we could see the seal sitting at the top of the beach behind a boulder at the bottom of the slipway. The prints of the dogs that had chased it the day before were still visible nearby, so the seal appeared to have returned to the same spot it was in before. We assessed its condition and informed the Seal Sanctuary that it was underweight and had ruckly breathing. We got the cage out and brought it over to the seal, which was still quite alert and growled at us, but when I went to jump it the seal had other ideas and ran away straight into the waiting cage! Tim closed the lid and we took the seal back up the slipway to the car, where it was loaded up and taken away.

Once we arrived at the Sanctuary, the seal was weighed in at 15kg and then given a pen in the Isolation unit to have a rest for a while. Senior Animal Care Assistant Tamara Cooper, with ACAs Claire Baker and Marianne, performed the clinical examination and found some minor grazes on the animal’s foreflippers and chin, with a minor associated swelling on the latter. There were also ulcers in the mouth. It was discovered to be a male seal, and was aged at around 5 weeks old. We decided to name him 'Wombat'!

Medic Dan Jarvis
BDMLR West Cornwall
(Newquay - Land's End - St Austell)