UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Tuesday 16 July 2024
 11.5°C   WSW Light Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Nature / Seals to be flown to Shetland after water issue at SSPCA centre

The four seals will be the first of the season for Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary

An archive image of a seal pup.

FOUR seals will be flown to Shetland this week to be looked after by the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary after a technical problem with an SSPCA centre on the mainland.

The seals, one female and three males, will be the first common seal pups to arrive at Hillswick this season.

Never before in its 35 year history has the sanctuary had no common seal pups brought in from around Shetland’s coastline.

The seals will take to the skies on two light aircraft today (Tuesday), heading to Sumburgh Airport for onward transport to Hillswick.

This is because of a problem with the water treatment system at the SSPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Clackmannanshire.

The centre currently has nine common seal pups in its care but needs somewhere for them to be looked after until they fix the water supply to their outdoor seal pools.

Hillswick sanctuary founder Jan Bevington said: “We are only too happy to help Fishcross by taking over the care of these seal pups.

“We are great believers in working collaboratively for the welfare of our wildlife and are looking forward to meeting our first pups of the summer.”

Manager of the SSPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre Chris Hogsden said: “We’re so grateful to our friends at Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary for taking these seals in to their care.

“Unfortunately we are having some issues with the water supply at our National Wildlife Rescue Centre, meaning we are unable to care for these animals at the moment.

“Our team will be sad to say goodbye to them but we know they’ll be in the best possible hands with the team at Hillswick.”

Meanwhile the quiet season – described as “highly unusual” – has been replicated in Orkney, where Orkney Seal Rescue has had no seal pups for the first time either.

The SSPCA has also had a much-reduced intake of common seal pups this year.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.