Four successfully rehabilitated seal pups named after Star Wars characters have been released back into the wild on Hunstanton beach.
Rescued Grey Seals Pao, Jar Jar Binks and Senator Bail Organa, who were picked up on beaches across East Anglia earlier this year and Padme, who arrived at the sanctuary from Scarborough,
Padme was rescued from Bridlington beach in North Yorkshire just days after a storm surge hit along Britain’s east coast.
Lead aquarist Natalie Emmerson said: “It is not uncommon for a seal pup to be found abandoned and need rescuing after severe weather conditions.”
Senator Bail Organa, was rescued by volunteers working with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue on Bawdsey beach, in Suffolk.
He was one of the first grey seal pups to be brought into the sanctuary this year and had a suspected broken toe in one of his back flippers, and thus very concerned about his survival.
Care worker Nathaniel Stephenson said: “We work very closely with organisations across Norfolk and Suffolk to ensure the best response times to rescuing seals in need.
“This year we have started utilising a new communication tool to help coordinate rescues across the region.”
Pao, was found on Heacham North Beach at just a few weeks old and severely underweight.
At just 13kg, it’s suspected that he was abandoned by his mum earlier on.
Jar Jar Binks, meanwhile, was found on West Runton Beach by a concerned member of the public.
He appeared exhausted and was brought in to allow the grey seal to recover, he has now reached a healthy weight and should be joining his fellow companions as they return to wild.
“This time of year we generally release just two or three at a time.
“It’s very rare for us to have so many pups well enough to go at the same time,” said Nathaniel.
“That will leave just our resident seals Sally, Amber, Pendle, Tyne, Silver and Miley in the outdoor pool, and rescued pups Aayla and Emperor Palpatine in the indoor hospital.”