Tuesday, 28 October 2008

8th September update: IFAW and Alan Knight visit BDMLR HSH


Alan Knight Director of BDMLR came to visit the hospital with Ian Robinson and Claire from International Fund For Animal Welfare to talk about the possibilities of helping with funding for the hospital. Ian is a vet who has a vast knowledge of seals as he previously ran East Winch for many years. Ian is now based in Boston USA for IFAW and deals with many different projects on a global scale. Claire is the press officer for IFAW’s London headquarters so enjoyed getting up close and personal with our pups in the nursery. They are both extremely busy people so we really appreciate them taking time out of their hectic schedules to visit the hospital.
It was great to chat to someone who understands the process of seal rehabilitation so well and has such a wealth of knowledge. Both Ian and Claire got a little hands on work with the pups, Claire hand fed one of the pups from outside the pen and Ian hopped in with the 2 smaller pups who were still being force fed. I think they both enjoyed the experience from the big smiles. It wasn’t all work as we did manage a trip on the North Coast Explorer, which was amazing. We saw lots of wonderful wildlife, around 50 harbour porpoise in Gill’s bay, a great variety of seabirds and hundreds of grey seals as we toured round the island of Stroma. It was such a pleasure seeing so many seals in their natural habitat. Thank you Alan for making my first trip on a powerboat such a memorable one I didn’t realise you could do hand brake turns on the water!
The entire visit was a great success, we all had fun and IFAW agreed to give us some funding. From all at BDMLR Highland Seal Hospital thank you Ian and Claire. Thank you Alan for your continued hard work and support of the hospital.
So from all the pups and humans at the BDMLR Highland Seal Hospital THANK YOU IFAW very much for all your help and continued support.

Take care Heather

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Thursday Sept ember the 8th ( backdated catchup)

Hospital Update: 8Th September

Apologies first for the long break between updates. This was due to a very busy month both in the hospital and personally. Another factor was IT problems between laptop and uploads but with a new laptop on the way this should finally be sorted.
On the personal front I had to be away from the hospital for several days at a time due to my partner, Heather, both in the hospital and in the rest of life, finally getting a kidney transplant. This was performed in Glasgow and the month or so of recovery also in Glasgow. All went very well and Heather is doing extremely well and is now at home. Due to anti rejection drugs and risk of infection it will be at least another five months before Heather came come back to working in the hospital. No dialysis four times a day anymore so it has already made a huge improvement to Heathers, and mine, quality of life.
A very big thank you must also go to our number one volunteer Richard Bradley, or poo monkey as he refers to himself. He made a huge effort during this time from coming in for every feed days before I had to go away, to learn force feeding fish and the different traits of each pup with it. Then he spent several periods where I would be away for four or so days at a time, returning to find Richard tired, but he had kept the hospital in fine form, following the routine and dealing with Pickle who decided to start being difficult with feeding. So thank you for all your work Richard, it was a crash course for feeding before hand, but you did a great job and it made my time away less stressful as I didn’t have to worry about the pups.


Well we had a new arrival on the 10th August from Dunnet beach.
A common seal male weighing in at 8.5 kilo. He has been named Arnie by the local medics He was dehydrated and malnourished and around a week old. He has followed the routine of being rehydrated before starting on his milk. He has been through the fish stages and is now hand feeding from outside the pen. He is a very laid back pup and spends his day playing, either with Pickle or with the various things put into the pen for enrichment. He feeds his fish extremely well and rips the fish apart in the water, filleting them with his nails and then swallows everything down. There is no waste with Arnie.

Weight on all pups has been progressing well with current weights as of 8/9/08:
Kessock: 14.7 kg
Bella: 16 kg
Pickle: 12.5 kg
Arnie:13.7 kg