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Nature / Seal pup dies after journey from Scottish mainland

The four seals arrived on board two light aircraft at Sumburgh airport last Tuesday afternoon. Photo: Ronnie Robertson

ONE OF the four common seal pups that were flown to Shetland last week to be taken care of at the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary has died.

The seals were brought to Shetland in two light aircraft last Tuesday after a technical problem with the water treatment system at the SSPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Alloa meant the seals couldn’t be looked after there.

Pete and Jan Bevington of the wildlife sanctuary in Hillswick said they were delighted to be able to step in and look after the three male and one female pups.

However, one of the male pups was not feeling well after completing the journey from Clackmannanshire to Hillswick.

On Monday, the sanctuary confirmed on social media that the pup had died.

They said: “He was not feeling well by the time he arrived at Hillswick last week, and though we did all we could to keep him going he could not find the strength to survive.

“Fortunately, the other three pups June, Raine and Blaze seem to be steadying up after their long journey north.

Meanwhile, the Bevingtons repeated their concerns about the state of the common seal population.

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

“Our concern about the fragility of the common seals around our coastline continues, so we are keeping our fingers well and truly crossed for these three as we keep a close eye on them around the clock,” they said.

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