Seal Sanctuary Provides Valuable Service to Ireland's Southwest
The Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary (DWSS) is hard at work rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife along Ireland’s southwestern coast, and recently posted photos of some of their residents. Pictured above is Suzy, a seal who has been living in the centre since she was rescued over five months ago.
Many of the seals, like Suzy, arrive to the sanctuary with a slew of health issues. According to Animal Manager Ally McMillan, Suzy has been at DWSS since November 2011 when she was taken in from Rosslare Harbour in County Wexford.
She was only between 3 and 4 weeks old at the time, weighing just 12 kilograms and was only 2 feet long. She was underweight with a nasty cold, fever, and some small wounds in and around her mouth. Suzy was brought to the sanctuary after she was found by people walking on the beach who were concerned for her as she was on her own and had some breathing troubles, and blood on her face.
After arriving at DWSS, Suzy was tube-fed re-hydration solution and nurtured back to heath by the Animal Care Team. She was soon moved to the Nursery pools and began eating fish on her own, which is the final stage of the rehabilitation process where the seal pups gain confidence and learn to compete for fish with the other seals, gaining weight and muscle mass. Suzy has now reached the correct weight for release back in to the wild, and will be taken back to County Wexford to return to the colony from which she originally came from.
DWSS documents the seals’ release on their Facebook page, so members of the public are able to see the seals being released back into the wild as the final stage of rehabilitation.
Rehabilitated seal Rebecca was released back into the wild in late March, and can be seen in the photo below:
According to McMillan, the centre not only rehabilitates the animals but also “promotes their conservation and protection and develops the harmonious and sustainable ecotourism industry of the area.” The centre is open to the public. Visitors can learn about the rescued pups and the rehabilitation process while seeing the conservation efforts firsthand.
Even though the DWSS specializes in seal rehabilitation, the team of resident volunteers are committed to caring for any animal in need in Ireland. The centre has been providing this service since opening its doors in June 2010. DWSS even welcomed four baby goats to their animal family earlier this month.
For more information on the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary, you can visit their Facebook page here.