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Tuesday, 26 November, 2002, 21:40 GMT
Sanctuary overwhelmed by sick seals
Seals at the Gweek sanctuary
Seals are falling victim to a deadly distemper virus
The National Seal Sanctuary in Cornwall says it is being overwhelmed by sick baby seals.

The centre at Gweek has been inundated with the animals as a distemper virus sweeps across East Anglia and Scotland.

The sanctuary now has almost no more room for new cases.

Staff say they fear pups may have to be put down as a result.

Medicating food

"My fear is that we are not going to be able to move animals out of the hospital quick enough to make room for the ones coming in," said curator Glen Boyle.

"I would expect at least another five seals in the next month and we already have five waiting for us at the RSPCA.

"We need therefore to empty this hospital over the next month," he said.

Staff at the centre are medicating the seals' food to try to ensure the virus does not spread in the South West.


Click here to go to BBC Cornwall
See also:

18 Sep 02 | England
11 Sep 02 | England
27 Jul 02 | Science/Nature
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