Athena, the grey seal pup, has broken all previous recovery records at Hunstanton Sea life Sanctuary and returned to the wild after only six weeks.
The Sanctuary ’s first grey seal casualty of the year, she was rescued from Mundesley Beach on March 10 in a lethargic state and covered in small bite wounds, either from another seal or possibly from a dog.
A thorough veterinary inspection back at the Sanctuary’s seal hospital revealed she also had a nasty infestation of parasitic lungworm.
Team member Chris Powers said: “Even with all her ailments Athena was a strong and otherwise fit seal, and she was happily feeding herself on whole fish that first day.
“She weighed 30 kilos when rescued, but within six weeks she had reached 54 kilos and had recovered enough to go back to the wild.
“Most of our casualties need about three months care and convalescence, so Athena’s bounce back has been one of the quickest on record.”
Athena was released at Snettisham beach on Tuesday morning , and after pausing briefly on the beach to look at Chris as if to say ‘thankyou,’ swam strongly out to sea.
The Sanctuary team is now caring for just two convalescing seals Artemis and Hemera who are expected to be released in a few months time.
Nathan Barnett, operations manager at the Sea Life Sanctuary, said they were expecting a busy summer of caring for seals.
He said: “There are now only East Winch and ourselves caring for sickly seals, two other places near Cromer and Great Yarmouth having closed. There has been a massive increase in population.”