THERE was one female that was happy to pack on 22 kilos over the Christmas period, and that was Nala – a seal that was rescued in West Cork last year.
Debbie O’Mahony and her husband, Donal, were out jogging in Rineen Woods in Union Hall on Monday, October 3rd, when they came across a baby seal on the shore path.
The orphaned seal was showing obvious signs of distress so the couple called Seal Rescue Ireland in Courtown in Co Wexford.
Caitlyn Hoffmann, one of the centre’s volunteers, confirmed that the seal – named Nala, after one of the characters in The Lion King – was emaciated and dehydrated.
‘She was really small and underweight,’ said Caitlyn. ‘She came in at 13.75kg but was 36.5kg when she was released, a good, average weight.’
Nala was released at Courtown on Sunday, January 15th. ‘After spending so much time with her and caring for her for so long,’ Caitlyn said, ‘it is always a bittersweet thing.’
As soon as the door of the cage was opened, Caitlyn said, she headed straight for the sea. ‘It was good to see her go back into the ocean,’ she said.
Debbie O’Mahony was also delighted with the news that Nala has been released back into the wild. She told The Southern Star: ‘Myself and the whole family were so very excited to hear that Nala was well enough to be released – a lovely ending to the story.’