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


2009-11-06 17:24:46

Poorly Seal at Widemouth Bay

Poorly seal pupI received a call from Dave Jarvis at 3.30pm about a seal that had been found on Widemouth Bay by Beach Ranger Alan Coltart. I headed straight down to the beach where Alan had picked up the sick pup away from the breakwater with help from Aaron Lloyd his co-worker and members of the public. I checked out the seal which was in Alan's truck and noticed he had awful snotty, mucous breathing which was very fast, heavy and not normal. His eyes were pretty gunky and he showed no signs of aggression towards us which was a worry, and the seal was very thin around the neckline. I informed Dave of the situation and he called West Hatch to let them know of the situation and to prepare the pup for transportation.

I then took the seal to Locke and Preston Vets, whilst en route the seal was making awful vomiting noises which panicked me so I phoned Dave, and also Darryl Thorpe or further advice. Once at the vets, the staff and I tried to tube feed the seal which wasn't very successful as he had an expanded larynx causing him considerable breathing difficulties, so vets gave him fluids subcutaneous under the skin to try and reduce his stress levels. His temperature was quite low so we wrapped him up in blankets, lightly sprayed him down with water and put him in the kennel cage.

Andy Crouch, our new recently trained medic, had arrived at the vets to help transit the seal and relay it to Exeter to meet Sue Davie and then to get up to West Hatch.

Unfortunately despite everyone's best efforts that evening the seal passed away.

Huge thanks to: Alan Coltart and Aaron Lloyd for their care and hard work given to the seal. Locke and Preston Vets, all coordinators who were ringing me to give advice and a big well done and thanks to Sue Davie for doing the final relay to West Hatch. Finally Andy Crouch (well done!) whose first experience of a seal was a sad one.

Michelle Robinson
Assistant Coordinator