Releasing Pankhurst the grey seal

Exactly one month after he was found on the side of the road at Boddam with a serious infestation of lungworm that would have killed him if he had not been rescued, Pankhurst returned to the ocean, a fat and healthy grey seal pup. When he came into the sanctuary at first he struggled to eat, so we had to force feed him herring with antibiotics. We wormed him and he started coughing up the parasites that were causing him so much trouble and after a week he was tearing up and nibbling fish off the floor in the seal unit. Within 10 days he was eating in the indoor pool, and after two weeks we took him outside where his appetite soared, as he swallowed 30 fish a day, barely coming to the surface to take a breath. We released him at Hillswick on a calm, dull, grey Sunday afternoon. He took his time getting used to being back in the sea again, adjusting to the increased buoyancy in the salt water compared to his freshwater pool at the sanctuary, and then he disappeared. Have a good life, Pankhurst! Many thanks to our volunteers Tom, Linnéa and Claire for their help with the release.

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