A report by BDMLR Medic Jeremy Gilson.
In early August 2023 I took a call as Hotline Coordinator from a caller in Devon concerned about a seal pup. From photos I could see the pup was thin, extremely lethargic and surrounded by flies. BDMLR Medic Sven Nicol responded to the callout request and after assessment and discussion the pup was taken to a veterinary hospital in Exeter, given fluids and kept in overnight for observation.
Thankfully the pup responded well and the decision was made to transfer it to RSPCA West Hatch in Somerset to start rehabilitation. Fortunately I was available to transfer the pup and as I also volunteer, along with my wife Angela, at West Hatch, I got to watch Brie (RSPCA West Hatch used cheese names that year) go from strength to strength during his rehabilitation.
On arrival, Brie was given medication and fed well, and after a few weeks was moved to an outside pool where he learned to compete with other seals for fish. I delighted watching Brie’s development through his rehabilitation as he gained weight and learned to catch fish for himself.
In December 23 I was delighted to help with the release of Brie and another seal pup cared for at the centre. We arrived early to load them onto the vehicle, drove to a quiet spot and watched them venture (back) into the sea. This whole process was a complete joy; watching a seal that has been reported to BDMLR in a distressed state, now a healthy animal with a good chance of living a good life. This is only possible with the concerted efforts of compassionate volunteers and collaborative partnerships with other organisations sharing a common dedication to the welfare of seals and I hope I can be involved in many more success stories such as the story of a seal pup named Brie.
With thanks to RSPCA West Hatch who do an amazing job each year caring for seals that have been rescued by BDMLR and other organisations.