A week old seal pup has her jaw wired up in an injury vets have only seen in cats hit by cars or animals who have suffered bad falls
- Credit: Archant
A week old seal pup has had her jaw wired up after she was found abandoned on the beach at Hunstanton.
The pup is recovering after a delicate life-saving operation to fix her broken lower jaw.
Christened Bonnie by rescuers at Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary, the female common seal pup was found – seemingly abandoned – alongside another uninjured pup on Old Hunstanton beach.
“It was not until we got her back to the Sanctuary for a detailed examination that we discovered her damaged jaw,” said seal care expert Kieran Copeland.
“She probably got in the way of an unfriendly adult and got bitten on the chin,” he said. “Hers is a particularly nasty injury, and one we’ve not come across before in many years of seal rescue, but we are hopeful she will make a full recovery.”
Experienced veterinary surgeon Chris Tansley from the Coastal Veterinary Group in Snettisham performed the delicate procedure to wire the broken pieces of her jaw to help them knit back together.
“I have seen similar injuries in cats, usually after they’ve had bad falls or been hit by a car, but this was the first time I’d come across it in a seal pup,” said Chris.
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“Luckily it was a single clean break and it took only about half an hour to wire the two sides together.
“Provided the team at the Sanctuary can get her feeding well and building her strength then I am sure she will do well.”
Bonnie is now under close observation in her own cubicle in the Sanctuary’s indoor hospital.
“She is too young to eat whole fish yet and is being carefully tube-fed on a special formula fish soup,” said Kieran. “It is still early days but we have been very encouraged by her progress so far.”
Bonnie is one of eleven rescued pups receiving care at the Sanctuary in what has been one of its busiest ever starts to the common seal breeding season.