Seal of approval - four pups are nursed back to health and released into the wild

Artemis the seal was rescued near Whitby.
Artemis the seal was rescued near Whitby.

Four young seal pups have been nursed back to health at Scarborough Sea Life Centre, and have now been released into the wild.

The four youngsters, called Artemis, Aphrodite, Athena and Herma, were all rescued in the autumn during the grey seal pupping season. Artemis was rescued in Whitby with the help of British Divers Marine Life Rescue at only a few weeks old and was severely underweight and Aphrodite was found with only one eye.

The animal care team at Sea Life worked hard to treat any health issues in the dedicated seal rescue hospital before rehabilitating the pups in the main seal pool and getting them to a healthy weight prior to their release. The little ones were returned close to a local colony where they can continue feeding up and making their way in the wild.

Aquarist Jordan Woodhead who coordinated the release said, “This is the best outcome we could have hoped for. Some of these pups weren’t looking too good when we rescued them so it’s a huge success that we’ve managed to return them all to the wild.

“Particularly for Artemis, who was only a few weeks old when they arrived and still had their white baby fur, it has been very encouraging seeing them gain weight and grow into the healthy little guys we released today.” Sea Life Scarborough has been rescuing and releasing seal pups for over 20 years and cares for over 30 pups on average every year. The common seal breeds in summer and the grey seal in winter so the team is kept busy almost all year round.

As we move into the warmer months and the common seal pupping season, people are urged to keep their distance if they spot a seal on the beach .

Mr Woodhead explained: “We’ve seen an increase in interest in the public visiting the colonies on beaches in recent years. Whilst it’s great that people are getting out into nature and visiting the wildlife in this area, it is important that we respect the animals. Keeping our distance is the most important thing to remember.

“Seals don’t know we’re not a predator and we can easily frighten them if we get too close. With a good set of binoculars you get just as good a view, and the animals won’t be scared off into the sea.”