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  • News

Slinky the Grey Seal heads home back to the Atlantic

Tuesday, 22nd January, 2013 5:43pm
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Slinky the Grey Seal heads home back to the Atlantic
Join Secret Valley Wildlife Park (Wexford) and the Irish Seal Sanctuary for the release of Slinky the Grey Seal from Garrettstown Beach (3 km south from Ballinspittle, 11 km from Kinsale) on Friday, 25th January!

At the start of December 2012, a little grey seal pup was discovered ashore at Garrettstown beach by some surfers who tried to return him to the sea, but he was too weak to go and kept returning to the sand. He was starved and emaciated weighing only 13 kg and had lost his mother.

The surfers went in search of a crate and while they were gone, the seal pup was spotted by a local teenage girl, Isabelle Lordan who rang Brendan Price (chairman of the Irish Seal Sanctuary) based in Dublin.

Brendan rang Odette Norman, a local woman who then rescued the seal pup (calling him Slinky) from the beach and brought him to Gavin Russell, Riverview Vet Clinic in Bandon. Slinky would not eat any fish and although the vet had no experience with seals, he managed to hydrate Slinky to keep him stable. Slinky stayed in the back kitchen of Odette's house that first night!

The following day, Odette and friend (Carrie Thompson) drove Slinky to Secret Valley Wildlife Park, Wexford for rehabilitation. This was the very first seal taken in by Secret Valley. With extra supervision and care, Slinky began to thrive receiving regular feeds of herring in his outdoor enclosure equipped with his own pink bath-tub. He steadily came to a healthy, weaning weight of 35 kg and is now fit and ready to return to his home, the Atlantic!

We sincerely wish to thank all those in the counties of Cork and Wexford who helped in the rescue and rehabilitation of Slinky. He surely would have perished had it not been for those who acted promptly and conscientiously.

A particular thanks goes out to vet Gavin Russell who offered his services free of charge and managed to get Slinky hydrated and out of the main danger zone, to Isabelle and to Odette and Carrie who brought Slinky to Wexford which was to be his home for over 50 days.

Secret Valley Wildlife Park extends a warm welcome to everybody to come see Slinky return to the sea and to celebrate his homecoming. He is truly a handsome seal with a gentle personality and we wish him all the best back in the Atlantic.

They will gather at Garrettstown beach from 2pm. It is an opportunity to see our iconic Grey Seal (protected under the 1976 Wildlife Act) up close and personal and to experience his first reactions to the big ocean! Slinky will be released back to the sea at 3:30pm on Friday, 25th January, from Garrettstown beach. All are most welcome to join Secret Valley Wildlife Park, Odette and many more! Please note that this event is weather-permitting.

If a seal is spotted on the beach, please heed the following advice: Always keep your distance and look for the mother seal in the sea. She is usually close by.

Do not approach or touch the pup and please keep dogs away! Never put a seal back in the water or throw water over it. Seals are mammals, air breathers and feel at home on land.

Observe the seal for 24 hours. If the pup is still on land, or if you are not sure that the pup is alright, please ring the Irish Seal Sanctuary on 087-3245423 or 01-835 4370 straight away.

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