TWO injured seal pups were successfully released back into the waters of the Irish Sea, following a stint of rehabilitation at a Colwyn Bay Zoo.
Staff from the Welsh Mountain Zoo, who have nurtured the seals back to health, had the opportunity to see them released back into the wild today (Tuesday) at Penrhyn Bay beach.
The first seal, a common grey named as Toto, came to the Zoo in late August 2016 whilst the grey seal, named Tim Man, arrived on November the same year.
Both seals were incredibly weak when they were found - one had several superficial cuts to its head and flippers, the other had a number of deep wounds to its lower jaw.
Speaking in the video Karen from Colwyn Bay, who found one of the seal pups, said she saw the pup on the Conwy Estuary whilst on a walk and she was delighted to see the pup released back into the wild with another seal.
Staff at the zoo have been encouraging them to swim and gain strength. They have been given fluids to re-hydrate and fed fish and specialist milk and also given antibiotics and wormer prescribed by the Zoo’s vet.
Toto now weighs in at 30kg having been only 8kg and the Tin Man is 40kg having gained around 29kg.
The Zoo has provided a home to a number of rescued seals through the years, in need of rehabilitation and support.
Peter Litherland of the Welsh Mountain Zoo commented: “It’s wonderful to see the rescue seals nurtured back to full health and to be reintroduced to the wild. We have lots of experience with seals and are able to use our in-house knowledge and resources to give them the support that they really need.
“Whilst it’s a sad farewell, we’re all really pleased to see them both make this important step back into their natural environments.”
Nick Jackson, Zoo Director, said: “We are really proud to demonstrate once again the wonderful rescue work that can be carried out by progressive zoos working in close co-operation with animal welfare and conservation organisations.”