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Nature / Second seal dies after flight north last month

The four seals arrived on board two light aircrafts at Sumburgh Airport in late July. Photo: Ronnie Robertson

ANOTHER common seal pup which was flown to Shetland last month to be cared for at Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary has died.

Jan and Pete Bevington from the sanctuary said they were “heartbroken”.

A total of four seals were brought to Shetland in two light aircraft at the end of July following an issue with the water treatment system at the SSPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Alloa.

However, one pup died shortly after arriving in Hillswick.

In a post on social media on Monday, the sanctuary said a second – Blaze – has died after going downhill.

“For the past three weeks since he was flown up to Shetland from the Scottish SPCA National Wildlife Rescue Centre, he has never really thrived,” the post said.

“At first he showed such spirit and was eager to be fed, but did not seem to be gaining weight.

“We have worked around the clock with him and in the past week had to call on veterinary advice as he seemed to be going downhill.

“We were due a visit from a local vet today, but it was too late and he passed away. Such a courageous seal, he really did want to be here but it was not to be.”

There is a hope that a necropsy will take place to give an idea on what happened to the seal.

When the seals arrived in Shetland a warning was made over the resilience of today’s common seals.

“We have great concern about the health of the common seals in general these days, as they are far less resilient than they used to be when we started caring for them 35 years ago,” the sanctuary said at the time.

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