The Welsh Mountain Zoo announced:
A male grey seal pup rescued and cared for by Keepers at the Seal Rescue Centre at the Welsh Mountain Zoo – National Zoo of Wales has been spotted over 125 miles away on Skomer Island, eleven years after its release.
Born in November 2001, the rescued seal spent over three months in rehabilitation after arriving at the Zoo in January 2002 as a result of becoming separated from its mother along the Colwyn Bay shoreline.
Keepers built up his strength on a diet of liquidised fish for the first month of his stay and then taught him how to eat whole fish in preparation for his release.
On 4th April 2002, weighing roughly 40 kilos, the seal was released back into the wild from the beach in Penrhyn Bay.
Now a fully grown bull, weighing an estimated 250 kilos, the seal was recently spotted amongst a colony of seals on Skomer by Dave Boyle, a wildlife researcher on the Island.
|BK-080 in North Haven (D. Boyle)|
“I’ve been researching grey seals on Skomer on and off since 2001. The research undertaken shows that generally the seals sighted on Skomer often come over from Cornwall. When I photographed the bull I noticed an orange tag on its flipper and after conducting a further investigation, this led me to the Welsh Mountain Zoo. They verified his identification and I’ve since been able to confirm that he’s the first North Wales seal known to have been seen on Skomer!”
Michelle Pywell, Head Keeper at the Welsh Mountain Zoo said,
“This is fantastic news! It gives us a great sense of achievement to know that our hard work pays off and also shows just how important the work we do is in assisting in the conservation of our native seals. ”