Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Hunstanton Sea Life team rescue tiny premature seal pup who was ‘very lucky’ to have been found when she was at Wells beach





A tiny premature seal has been rescued by Hunstanton’s Sea Life animal care team - who say she was “very lucky” to have been found when she was.

Weighing just 7kg, Sage, who is the first pup of the seal breeding season to have been rescued by the team, is 3kg under the average 10kg birth weight of a common seal pup, making her extremely vulnerable.

Sage was rescued from the beach at Wells after a member of the public spotted her washed up on the sand and called the British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

Sage and Sophie Negus, assistant curator at Sea Life Hunstanton
Sage and Sophie Negus, assistant curator at Sea Life Hunstanton
Sage the common seal pup has been rescued by Sea Life Hunstanton
Sage the common seal pup has been rescued by Sea Life Hunstanton

Animal experts quickly realised that Sage was premature and would need help to survive, as she still had her extremely fluffy coat of lanugo - something which is normally shed at birth - and her umbilicus was still attached.

Hunstanton’s Sea Life was contacted to take in the tiny pup and will continue to care for her.

The team said that as premature seal pups have not had the time to fully develop, they require around-the-clock care to give them the best possible chance of survival, meaning a lot of early starts and late finishes for the animal care team.

Caring for a premature seal pup is no easy task, they said, as each pup is treated as an individual with tailored care and rehabilitation programmes.

The team continually assess the pup’s progress and change their care to suit their individual needs to give them the best chance of rehabilitation.

As with any rescued seal pup, Sage is being fed five times a day - however, as Sage is so young, she is currently on a liquid diet with the animal care team intending to increase her feeds and upping the number of fish she receives as soon as she is ready.

Sage will also be weighed every three days to ensure she is gaining the weight needed to grow and develop.

Sage is a tiny premature seal pup
Sage is a tiny premature seal pup
Sage weighs just 7kg - 3kg under the average 10kg birth weight of a common seal pup
Sage weighs just 7kg - 3kg under the average 10kg birth weight of a common seal pup

While tiny and underweight, this appears to be the full extent of her problems, but the team will be keeping an eye on her to see how she progresses and develops in the coming days and weeks.

Currently, Sage is making good progress but she has a long way to go in her journey to rehabilitation and release.

Sophie Negus, assistant curator at Sea Life Hunstanton, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer abandoned and injured seal pups across our Norfolk coastline a place to recover and be rehabilitated.

“Without rescue and rehabilitation programmes like the one at SEA LIFE Hunstanton, local seal populations would almost certainly decrease, so it’s vital that we continue to look after the seals in need that turn up on our coastlines.

Sage the common seal pup has been rescued by Sea Life Hunstanton
Sage the common seal pup has been rescued by Sea Life Hunstanton

“Whilst Sage certainly needs our help, it’s important to note that not all pups need rescuing during the breeding season. It’s very common to find younger seals resting on the beaches as they get used to navigating their way in life so not all pups are in need of help

“If a member of the public spots a seal pup and has any concerns they can call either SEA LIFE Hunstanton of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue who will be able to go and professionally assess the pup and their potential needs.

“As for Sage, we will continue to care for her hoping that she can be fully rehabilitated and then released later in the year.”



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More