Hunstanton release for rescued seals

Sea Life Sanctuary 'Star Wars' seal felease on March 17, 2017
Sea Life Sanctuary 'Star Wars' seal felease on March 17, 2017

Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary had its first seal release of the season on Friday when four animals were ushered off into The Wash.

Grey seal pups Darth Vader, Jyn, Rey and a yearling called Han Solo were taken down to the nearby beach to be let go.

Sea Life Sanctuary seal release at Hunstanton beach

Sea Life Sanctuary seal release at Hunstanton beach

All of them were named after characters from Star Wars movies.

Rey, one of the first grey seal pups to be rescued this season, arrived at the sanctuary after being found in Overstrand with a badly-injured flipper by Sea Life Sanctuary care expert Nathanial Stephenson.

He said: “She was in a poor way when she arrived, underweight and lethargic.

But seeing the progress Rey has made and recovering from her injury, watching her go was wonderful to see.”

Han Solo,another seal that was rescued very early on in the season, arrived at the sanctuary at a year old.

He was found both dehydrated and with an injured flipper, by volunteers from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

The sanctuary works very closely with organisations across Norfolk and Suffolk to ensure the best response times to rescuing seals in need and delivering the best possible care for seals in need of help.

Darth Vader, was found on Holkham beach at just six weeks old and severely underweight.

At just 14Kg, it is suspected that he was unable to fend for himself.

Vader was so called after his incredible dark skin pattern.

Jyn, rescued on Boxing Day, was found at Sea Palling, further round the north Norfolk coast.

At only three weeks old it is thought she was separated from her mum.

When she was found she still had her white coat, a protective layer to keep her warm whilst being left on the beach.

Usually as soon as a pup has reached 35kg and has received a clean bill of health they are then released back into the wild to fend for themselves.

Natalie Emmerson, one of the Animal Care Team at the Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary said: “We are all so pleased to have been able to release the pups today. These releases are always particularly special and are such an important part of the sanctuary’s work.

“We’ll miss them because we’ve got to know them all so well, but at the same time it will be great to see them back in the wild where they belong.”