Our animal welfare group, the NWSPCA, was just about to finish a very busy year when one final call came in...an abandoned seal on a near-by beach. We dispatched a volunteer inspector and located the seal after a short search. A small group of beach walkers had waited with the seal until our help arrived.
The seal pup was surprisingly energetic despite its ordeal. It is common for seals to leave their pups on beaches while they search for food, eventually the pup will learn to hunt for food itself. However while on the beach if the pup has any human interaction, this can cause the mother to abandon the pup, leaving it unable to fend for itself.
The NWSPCA has great support from the local community and following some quick calls, the Irish Coastguard and the local Lifeboat (RNLI) group dispatched their officers to assist in the transportation of the seal pup to the local lifeboat station. From here the regional officer of Ireland's National Seal Sanctuary arrived to bring the pup to their facilities.
Following their great work, the seal was rehabilitated and prepared to be released back into our community. Their seals are released back from the same beach they are found.
So at the end of February, we were able to contact all our members to let them know Sylvester was coming home. A large crowd of people, from kids to senior citizens, had turned up for the special event. Those in attendance formed a human passage way to the sea, ensuring Sylvester will be directed the right way. After a countdown, Sylvester's container was opened, and he emergered, following a quick look around, he pushed himself down to the sea. And with one last look back, he swam away starting his new life...Success!!
North Wexford, Ireland