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Nature / Sanctuary receives smallest grey seal pup in 37-year history

Lulu, the seal pup who was rescued this week. Photo: Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary

THE HILLSWICK Wildlife Sanctuary team say they have received the smallest grey seal pup they have seen since starting the facility nearly 40 years ago.

A seal pup weighing just nine kilograms was found climbing up the beach towards St Ninian’s Isle this week.

When the SSPCA investigated, the seal was found to be half-moulted and with a number of small wounds.

The sanctuary team said they believed it to be bird pecks.

They added that the weight of the pup was “incredibly light” for a three or four week old seal, with the sanctuary owners Jan and Pete Bevington “shocked” by the size.

“She seems to have plenty of fight in her though and must have managed to defend herself, but she is lucky to have been found in time and is now in desperate need of fattening up,” Pete Bevington said.

On Thursday they started a course of antibiotics for the pup, named Lulu by the person who found her, and are tube feeding her.

Meanwhile the recently refurbished facilities in Hillswick have been in demand for seals found outside of Shetland.

Bevington said the sanctuary is currently playing host to two seal pups from Orkney called Dotty and Boots, who were sent up by British Divers Marine Life Rescue because there were no rehab facilities available in Orkney at the time.

This was due to the personal circumstances at Orkney Seal Rescue.

“We were also asked to take a seal pup from Aberdeenshire last week because the water treatment facility at the SSPCA’s Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross had broken down again,” Bevington added.

“Unfortunately that seal was not deemed fit to travel, so it was put to sleep by the vet.”

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