Race across North Scotland

On Friday 31 May reports were received by BDMLR and the Scottish SPCA regarding a very small seal pup on a North Uist beach, crying and following people. There was a dead seal noted nearby, but no signs of any other adults who may have been looking after the pup. 

With no other option than to pick the pup up for its own safety, it was taken to the Southern Isles Veterinary Practice on Benbecula where it was given life saving fluids and a full assessment. The pup, which was very young and likely to have been a little premature, was given the all clear to go to a rehabilitation centre as soon as possible. 

At 5.45am the following morning the pup was collected from the vets and taken to the ferry at Leverburgh, then collected by an SSPCA officer, checked over by another vet in Stornoway, then on to the CalMac ferry to Ullapool. 

At 6.50pm the pup arrived in Ullapool and started the long journey over to the north east coast where it starts a long road to recovery at Caithness Sea Rescue and Rehab Centre. The pup, named ‘Sketch’ after the driver who collected him from the vets on Benbecula, weighed just under 8kg, and is now on a diet rich in essential fats to build up strength and put on some weight as quickly as possible. 

In the wild, common seal pups will feed on their mothers rich milk and more than double their birth weight in the few weeks they suckle. Pups are usually well developed at birth and unlike the grey seal pup, they are able to take to the water straight away. 

We would like to thank the residents of North Uist for their life saving efforts, Southern Isles Vet Practice, Sketch’s Taxi, Calmac Ferries, Old Mill Veterinary Practice, Caithness Seal Rescue and Rehab Centre, and all BDMLR volunteers for making this near 300 mile rescue possible.