Page last updated at 11:05 GMT, Friday, 27 November 2009

Orphaned seal on 300-mile road to recovery

Lui the seal
Lui the seal was taken 300 miles to Fife for treatment

An orphaned seal pup found on the Isle of Harris has made a 300-mile trip to receive specialist care in Fife.

A member of the public called the Scottish SPCA after finding the distressed seal pup lying next to her dead mother at Northton.

The three-week-old female pup was treated by a vet before making the seven-hour journey to Fife by ferry and car.

Staff at the Scottish SPCA's Middlebank Wildlife Centre named her Lui.

Centre manager Colin Seddon said she was now making a good recovery.

It was a long journey for Lui to make, but we knew it was worth it to ensure she got the specialist treatment she requires
Colin Seddon
Middlebank Wildlife Centre

He said: "Seal pups are still dependent on their mother's milk at three weeks old, so Lui was too young to be left on her own.

"If she hadn't been discovered, Lui would have eventually starved to death.

"Normally we would observe seal pups from a distance for a day or so before removing them, but as a dead seal was lying nearby all the evidence suggested she'd been orphaned so our inspector acted swiftly.

"It was a long journey for Lui to make, but we knew it was worth it to ensure she got the specialist treatment she requires."

Staff at the centre have been tube feeding her a soup of liquidised fish and nutrients.

She will soon be offered whole fish and access to shallow water, before moving to an outdoor pool where she will be introduced to other seal pups.

Once she is fully fit and at the right weight she will be released back into the wild.



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