Saturday, 2 July 2011
On the afternoon of the 27th I recieved a call from Audrey, our local SSPCA officer and BDMLR medic that she was going to look at a pup at Golspie. Local medic Andrew Macleod rang as well as a local had reported it to him that afternoon. Both attended and uplifted the pup and Audrey drove it the hour and a half back to the hospital. On arrival we had another extremely thin pup, male, weighing in at 8.4kg and about 5 days old. I thought Harry was a bag of bones but this boy looked worse. He then started the alternate feeds through the night. This lad was called Pee Wee.
While at this point on the night of the 29th all pups are stabilised, receiving medication and are now on a schedule of milk feeds. All pups are progressing well.
Thanks go to Dawna, Dougie and Audrey from the SSPCA, as well as Andrew from Golspie. Also to the guys helping at the hospital, Heather, Alex, Tracey and Boonie.
Having organised to attend the BDMLR mass stranding excercise at Burghead on Sunday the 26th,On the Saturday evening I recieved a phone call from Dawna at the SSPCA to ask if I could take a pup she was about to pick up from Fort William.
She would bring it to the excercise and I would bring it back with me to the hospital.
Dawna arrived with a small female pup that I tubed twice at Burghead before heading home at lunch. I was asked by another SSPCA officer and medic, Dougie, if I could have a quick look at a pup they had been watching near Dornoch, as it was on my way back north, I naturally said yes.
On arrival at Dornoch, I found the spot and there was a small male pup, looking extremely thin. He was placed in the transport box with the other pup and off we set for the hospital.
On arrival at the hospital we had a small female weighing in at 7.4 kilo and being approx 3 days old. she was thin and still had her umbilicus. No injuries.
She was called Lulu.
The pup from Dornach was a extremely thin male weighing in at 7.8, around 4 days old. He was longer than the female but was worryingly thin and hydration fluid was given and milk feeds alternated with the lectade as he needed sustenance as well as fluid as if we had used standard protocol of 24 hour fluid, I am sure he would not have survived the night. This male was called Harry.
On Friday 17th June, Inverness medic John Orr was called to check on a seal pup reported on a beach at Nairn. It was believed to be only a couple of days old and as there were seals nearby we asked John if he could check it again in the early evening, and then eventually Saturday morning, just to be sure mum was not still around.
On Saturday morning it was confirmed that no seals had been near the pup and it was looking a bit thin, based on this the pup was uplifted by John and as we could not find anyone from Inverness to help with transport to the seal hospital John held the pup until Ali Jack arrived in the evening on his way home to Skarfskerry from the BDMLR course at North Berwick.
On arrival at the seal hospital later that evening we found we had a small 8.8 kilo, male common seal around 3 days old. He had no injuries and while being a bit thin he was alert and active.
He recieved hydration fluid for the first few feeds and has since moved onto multimilk.
He has been called Scoot.
On the 19th April we finally released the last of the winter arrivals from the Hospital.
The weather forecast was looking good for the next few days and so Mary, Al, Patch and Larry were given the once over and weighed in the morning once the pool was drained, then loaded into their transport boxes for the short journey to the release site.
As well as Heather, Caleb and myself we were joined by main Hospital volunteer Tracey and son Elliot, Director Mark Stevens with Carolyn, Director and neighbour Ali Jack along with Pam and little ones, SSPCA officer Audrey and a few others. It was quite a welcome crowd compared to last time as it certainly made all the lifting and carrying of each over 40 kilo seal much easier.
Once at the release site their boxes were lined up but Al didnt want to wait and so squeezed half out his box and then with Heather barely managing to keep some sort of control, tipped his box up. The other three were quickly let out to join him and with the exception of Larry all hit the water pretty quickly. Larry wasnt to sure but with a bit of coaxing finally went in. They spent the next half hour or so exploring the harbour and looking for each other.
We left them to get on with it and last seen they were playing in the seaweed.
Now they are finally back where they should be and the task of readying the hospital for the next lot begins.
Highland seal hospital release - Thursday 24th March 2011
After having to abandon plans to release on Wednesday due to high winds, then seeing a good weather window for the next four days it was decided to go ahead and release Moe and Sunny back to the wild.
Moe and Sunny are both local pups and both arrived in November. Moe having been seperated from his mother, undernourished but with no injuries was found near Dunnett head. Sunny was found the otherside of the bay near Castletown Harbour and had been severely affected by toxic piosoning, we presume it was some sort of petroleum product due to the internal burning and blinding of her eyes. Sunny also had multiple deep bites over the rear of her body.
Moe progressed through the rehab stages with flying colours, progressing as expected.
Sunny needed some major care in the early days and we were relieved to save her sight and also to then be able to reduce the scarring on her cornea to the piont it was barely noticable.
The day dawned lovely with the wind greatly reduced from yesterday so after a quick check of the five day forecast it was decided to release today. Yesterday we had several volunteers on hand, Tracey, Boonie and a local vet Jamie, today though as it was very short notice they couldnt make it today so it was just myself, Heather and Caleb.
After draining the pool, it was catch up time and then into the transport boxes for the short trip to the release site.
We were joined by two curious common seal yearlings who were sitting in the middle of the small bay watching the proceedings from start to finish.
Once out of their boxs they both approached things differently. Moe went straight down the slipway and over the edge, swimming from one end of the harbour to the other, no hanging about. Sunny on the other hand was reluctant to head into the water, sitting on the edge and not wanting to be rushed. Eventually she went in and spent the next half hour playing in the seaweed and gradually venturing further afield.
We wish them all the best.