One-eyed seal pup rescued for second time after following family home from beach

A SIX month old seal pup now rescued twice since June has arrived at Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary after trying to follow a family home from the beach.

“Blue”, as he was originally named when rescued in June earlier this year, was released last week, only to resurface at Snettisham Beach on Sunday. He has now been nicknamed “Boomerang Blue”.

Frankie and John Chandler from King’s Lynn were walking their two dogs with their 12 year old son Owen when Blue came towards them through the waves.

“When the seal saw us it made a beeline towards Owen and came as close as it could in the water, so was only a few feet away from us. He was fixated on Owen,” said Frankie.

“I knew immediately this wasn’t your average wild seal when he started rising out of the water and diving about to get our attention. I am positive he thought we were going to feed him!

“Sadly his efforts only got him caught up in a stray fishing net in the water. We’re local so we know not to handle the seals, so that’s when we called the Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary.”

On receiving the Chandlers’ phone call Kieran Copeland and Hollie Stallworthy from the Sanctuary team cut Blue free from the net and brought him back to the centre for observation.

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Hollie said: “This was my first seal rescue and it was great to put my training into practice. The Sanctuary has been rescuing seals for over 20 years, so I was under pressure not break a great track record!”

“Back at site, Blue was easily identifiable as he only has one eye after losing one to an infection. He had also been tagged by the RSPCA, so we were able to contact them to find out a bit about his history.”

With a firm policy to encourage seals to live as naturally as possible by being released back in to the wild, the Hunstanton team hope they will be able to persuade Blue to cut the apron strings when they release him again.

Sanctuary Manager, Nigel says “Both the RSPCA and the SEA LIFE Sanctuary believe seals should be released back into the wild to live as naturally as possible, and usually the seals respond incredibly well, rarely being seen again.

“Blue is clearly an exception so the sanctuary team are planning an even more isolated release location.”

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