Sea Life staff take a break to rescue seal pup

Galene the seal rescues by Hunstanton Sea Life Centre staff ANL-141206-105821001
Galene the seal rescues by Hunstanton Sea Life Centre staff ANL-141206-105821001
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Marine experts from flood-ravaged Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary broke off from rebuilding duties to rescue a stranded seal pup.

The day-old female common seal pup was promptly christened Galene, after the Greek Goddess of calm seas ... which is also the project name for the Sanctuary rebuild.

In spite of having no seal hospital to take it to, the animal care team did not hesitate when the call came about a stranded pup at Heacham.

Most of their equipment is in storage, but they managed to find an old stretcher and a high visibility jacket and headed to the scene.

The pup was soon located on north Heacham beach, and there was no sign of its mother.

“She was very tiny and clearly exhausted,” said aquarist Hollie Stephenson. “Without help she wouldn’t have lasted very long.”

Too small for the stretcher, Hollie instead carefully wrapped the pup in her high-visibility jacket and took her straight to the nearest available rescue facility – the RSPCA centre at East Winch.

Hollie and her colleagues are counting the days to the reopening of the sanctuary in October, when their rescue work can resume fully and they can welcome back their resident seals from temporary quarters in Scarborough.

The sanctuary was devastated by floods following winter storms in December, when all its residents had to be evacuated to other facilities.

It had been hoped it would be open by July but now it the target date is October. But the owners, Merlin, are spending £3 million on the refit and promise it will be a much-improved attraction.