May 23, 2022 4.00 pm

Watch as nine rehabilitated seal pups are released into Lincolnshire river

They took a mudslide back to freedom

Nine seal pups took a mudslide back to freedom when they were released into a river in Lincolnshire.

The seals – Barn Dance, Gustav, Renee, Axel, Duncan, Diego, Vermeer, Stanhope and Neil – had all needed months of care when they were rescued. Many were either injured, emaciated, dehydrated and organised.

After months of rehabilitation at the RSPCA’s East Winch Wildlife Centre in Norfolk, they were released from a site in the Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire on Thursday, May 19, where they would then make their way out into The Wash.

Evangelos Achilleos, centre manager at East Winch, said: “This was a bumper release day for us as we returned nine rehabilitated seal pups back to the wild. I’m pleased to say it all went swimmingly. It’s always such a pleasure to watch them eagerly plunge into the water and then head off towards the sea.

“We released Barn Dance, Gustav, Renee, Axel, Duncan, Diego, Vermeer, Stanhope and Neil!

“There were eight orphaned grey pups and one common seal pup, they had come into our care for a number of reasons, including being caught in netting and one had been attacked by a dog. The common seal pup had been treated for an eye injury.

“These seals have been with us some three to four months on average, and each of them would get through a whopping 3kgs of fish per day towards the end of their rehabilitation.

“The pups have gone through a number of stages of rehabilitation, from being tube fed, to hand fed, to fed with tongs under water, to being fed in shallow pools then deep pools, before finally being released. They have tags in their flippers which allows us to get regular updates where they have gone following their release.”

Donations to support the seal rehabilitation work of the East Winch Wildlife Centre can be made online here. It costs around £3,500 a month to feed the seals and the centre’s water bill is around £4,000.

If you see a seal that looks healthy on the beach it is advised to leave it alone, but in an emergency situation contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999, a local wildlife rehabilitator, or the local police force.