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


2012-04-19 16:46:53

Boonie's Bed and Breakfast

Spey SealJust after 6pm on Tuesday 10th April, whilst I was in town I received a call from Karen Kirk, the out of hours co-ordinator. The girls at the WDCS centre in Spey Bay had a common seal pup with laboured breathing, lying on pebbles near the centre. I called Michelle at home and she got my grab bag and a Vari kennel ready for when I returned, so with a quick turnaround I was soon heading for Spey Bay, arriving just after 7pm.

With my grab bag and a posse from WDCS we went over the pebbles to check on the pup, hoping it was not a pup from this season that had arrived a few month early. Thankfully It was one of last year's pups.  It should have been about 35-40 Kgs and was thin but not emaciated, only weighing about 24-25 Kgs.

I contacted Jamie at the BDMLR Highland Seal Hospital who was on holiday having only recently released the last of this year's grey seals.  It was decided that the pup was probably suffering from parasitic infection, possibly lungworm, and that it had to be picked up.  As the Seal Hospital was closed the pup would have go to SSPCA at Middlebank so I contacted SSPCA Senior Inspector Andy Brown to book it in.  With help from Lorna a BDMLR medic working for WDCS we caught the pup in a seal bag and carried it back over the pebbles to the car, transferring it to the Vari kennel for its journey back to our house where we could hold it over night.  When I got home I enlisted the help of a friend and neighbour, Ann Cuthbert, to help me secure the pup in a larger transport crate, giving it more room to move and be ready for its onward journey in the morning.

The next day, I got up and checked on our guest, who was sleeping and resting nicely. I was contacted by Pete a local SSPCA officer and arranged to drop the pup off at his house about half an hour away, where he would then co-ordinate the relay down to Middlebank. After a final checkover I loaded the pup into my car and drove out to deliver it to Pete, getting there about 9:30am, where we put it straight into van ready for the next leg of its journey on the road to recovery.

Many thanks to the girls at WDCS, especially Lorna, to Ann, to Andy and Pete at SSPCA, and special thanks to Jamie who could now get back to enjoying the rest of his well earned break.

Boonie (Martin Boon)
BDMLR Scotland North East Training Coordinator

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