Seal pup “Bonnie” undergoes lifesaving surgery in Hunstanton

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A week-old seal pup who was found injured on Old Hunstanton Beach is recovering after an operation.

Rescuers at Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary named the common seal pup Bonnie after she was found on the beach with a broken lower jaw, alongside another uninjured pup.

Seal care expert Kieran Copeland said: “It was not until we got her back to the sanctuary for a detailed examination that we discovered her damaged jaw.

“She probably got in the way of an unfriendly adult and got bitten on the chin. Hers is a particularly nasty injury, and one we’ve not come across before in many years of seal rescue, but we are hopeful she will make a full recovery.”

Veterinary surgeon Chris Tansley from Snettisham’s Coastal Veterinary Group performed the procedure to wire the broken pieces of her jaw so that they can knit back together.

Mr Tansley said: “I have seen similar injuries in cats, usually after they’ve had bad falls or been hit by a car, but this was the first time I’d come across it in a seal pup.

“Luckily it was a single clean break and it took only about half an hour to wire the two sides together.”
He added that provided the Sea Life team can get her feeding well and building her strength, then she should be on the mend.

Bonnie now remains under close observation in her own cubicle in the sanctuary’s indoor hospital.

Mr Copeland added: “It is still early days but we have been very encouraged by her progress so far.”