Injured seal rescued by Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre

AN injured seal pup, rescued from Great Yarmouth beach will be reunited with her colony at Scroby Sands thanks to heroic work by staff at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre.

On August 14, Christine Pitcher, displays supervisor at the Sea Life Centre and Darren Gook, senior aquarist, raced to the shoreline behind the Sea Life Centre after members of the public reported an injured common seal.

The pair took the young seal - now named Claire - to the quarantine unit at the centre, and then on to the Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary, where it received treatment for its injury and recovery care.

Christine said: 'Although seals will occasionally haul out onto the Great Yarmouth beach at certain times of the year for various reasons, it was apparent to us that the reason for this pup coming ashore was due to a heavily infected shoulder.

'The longer it remained on the beach the more at risk the pup was from being attacked by a dog, and we were left with no alternative but to remove it to the safety of the Sea Life centre.'

On Wednesday, December 5, Hunstanton's Seal Pool will be drained, the pup caught and put into a stretcher and transported to the beach next to the Wellington Pier in Great Yarmouth for release.

It weighed just 12kgs when it was found but is now at a healthy 32kgs.

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The pup has been named Claire after Claire Spackman, an accountant in Dorset for the company that owns the Sea Life Centre, who was so moved by the story that she raised funds for the seal's care, by selling home made cakes in her office.

Terri Harris, General Manager at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre said: 'There was only one name we could possibly give this seal during it's rehabilitation, and that was Claire.

'It was touch and go for quite a while but Claire's heavily infected shoulder has completely healed, she has more than doubled in weight and is competing with other seals in the hospital pool for her food, so the time has come to return Claire to Scroby Sands.'