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Orphaned seal pups rescued

PUBLISHED: 14:11 16 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:03 30 June 2010

Newborn seal pups separated from their mothers have been rescued and are being nursed back to health at a RSPCA wildlife centre.

The three newborn pups, some just a day or so old, were discovered near Blakeney Point in Norfolk at the weekend in a severely dehydrated state and taken to the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre near King's Lynn.

Newborn seal pups separated from their mothers have been rescued and are being nursed back to health at a RSPCA wildlife centre.

The three newborn pups, some just a day or so old, were discovered near Blakeney Point in Norfolk at the weekend in a severely dehydrated state and taken to the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre near King's Lynn.

Alison Charles, centre manager, said common seals typically give birth at this time of the year and these were the first babies she had seen this season.

She said: “All the pups are probably orphaned as they should all have been with their mums still.”

Sunny was the first to be found on Thursday 10 June at the Wash. He is thought to be just a few days old since the umbilical cord was still attached and he weighed 9.2 kg.

Ruby was one or two days old when she was found on Sunday 13 June at Terrington St Clement, weighing 11.65 kg. Saffron is around five days old but weighed just 7kg when she was found on the same day at Terrington Marsh.

All of the orphaned pups were fed a rehydration solution via a tube to their stomach when they arrived at the centre. They were then given fish soup through the same tubes and it is hoped that they will soon be stabilised and strong enough to eat small herring.

Alison said: “Sunny is looking quite strong now and is having one fish a day. The others are still quite poorly but we are feeding them up and hoping for an improvement soon.”

The wildlife centre has specialist facilities for seals. These include isolation cubicles where seals that need intensive nursing are cared for, a range of pools that enable them to regain fitness until they are ready to be released back into the sea four or five months later.

At the moment there are a total of 12 seals at the centre and it costs £20 a week to feed each of them. Two more seals have just been rescued and are on their way to East Winch today.

Although the RSPCA depends on the public to hear about sick and orphaned seals, Alison stresses that it is vital to leave seals alone, keep dogs away and observe them from a distance. She also said that if common seal pups are seen on the beach, people should observe from a distance before phoning for advice since the mum may close by.

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