A COUPLE who were putting in a practice run at Rineen Wood were more than surprised when they turned a corner and found a baby seal pup looking up imploringly at them from the path.
Debbie and Donal O’Mahony came across the week-old seal at around 9.30am on Monday morning and went straight into rescue mode by restraining their own terrier dogs and calling their vet for advice.
Within minutes they had got through to Seal Rescue Ireland and – reassured that help was on the way – Debbie and Donal stayed on guard to protect the seal.
Another woman, Mary Mooney, also came to the seal’s assistance but because its condition seemed to be deteriorating, Donal went back to their home at Forenaught and got a dog cage and gloves.
They put a towel over the seal’s head and placed him safely in a cage until Erin – a volunteer who travelled from Killarney – came to collect the seal. Like all rescued seals at the centre, this seal was given the name of a Disney character and they confirmed, before going to press, that ‘Nala’ is doing fine.
Nala – who had probably been abandoned by its mother – had been given an electrolyte drink to rehydrate it before it was transported to Kinsale where another volunteer took over and relayed the seal to the sanctuary in Wexford.
Debbie told The Southern Star: ‘It was brilliant to have been able to help. We thought she was going to die at one point but she was so much livelier when Erin took her.’
Debbie and Donal, as well as Mary Mooney, have pledged to travel to Cork when – at some time in the next three months – Nala will be released back into the wild. Follow Nala’s progress on Seal Rescue Ireland’s Facebook page.