22nd May 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Victoria the baby seal is well on the way to recovery

A grey seal pup, which attracted a lot of attention when it pulled itself on to the ramp at Lerwick’s Small Boat Harbour last Tuesday lunchtime, is well on the way to recovery.

The seal was in an emaciated state with flipper damage when it pulled itself up on to the decking at Lerwick’s Small Boat Harbour. Photo: Stephen Gordon

The pup, thought to be about a month old – grey seals unusually give birth at the stormiest time of year – was named Victoria after the Lerwick pier.

She was discovered on the decking at the harbour in an emaciated state with damage to her flippers and looked like she’d taken a bashing. She would have expected to be have been twice the weight at that age.

The Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary received its first call about the animal from the tourist office, from a worried visitor, while the SSPCA received calls from several people including at Lerwick Port Authority.

The animal was caught and brought to the sanctuary on Tuesday after a visit to the vets; she slept for 48 hours solid when she arrived.

According to Jan Bevington the seal was responding to treatment with a course of anti-biotics and being fed fish soup and small pieces of herring.

“The animal is fully molted, so is ready to eat solid food,” she said. “Thank goodness it’s here and not out in the storms; she would have never survived.”

Victoria is now much recovered. Photo courtesy of Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary

Victoria will now be fattened up, transferred to the big pool where she’ll be taught to eat on her own and her progress to recovery recorded.

She will not be released back to Lerwick Harbour; the sanctuary’s policy is to free the seals around the Hillswick area away from human habitation.

Mrs Bevington has reminded folk to keep an eye out for washed up seal pups and let them know if they have any concerns.

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