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Page last updated at 13:23 GMT, Thursday, 28 October 2010 14:23 UK
Caring for a seal pup at Guernsey's Animal Shelter

Caring for Pumpkin the seal pup

A baby seal became the latest resident of the Animal Shelter in October 2010.

Jayne Le Cras of the GSPCA explained that normally he would be sent to the UK but because of a nationwide outbreak of seal pox he had to stay in Guernsey.

None-the-less Jayne said it remained the shelter's intention to get the seal back to full fitness whether he could go to a specialist seal centre or not.

Jayne said all going to plan he would be ready to go back into the wild by March 2011.

Pumpkin the seal
The seal was found near Vazon and will eat up to 30 a mackerel a day!

The GSPCA hoped to be able to send the seal to the UK before then.

Jayne said: "We don't have the facilities to keep him here until he is ready for release."

She said by then he would have almost doubled in size and would need to learn to interact with other seals to survive in the wild, something he could do at the centres in the UK.

When he first arrived at the shelter the seal was being fed on "fish soup" which Jayne described as water with fish mushed up in it.

She said he would quickly progress onto eating solids, which would include up to 30 mackerel a day - a great expense for the charity which asked for help in supplying the fish.

Jayne explained that seal pups like this are often found by dog walkers around the island's rocky headlands after stormy weather: "The mothers give birth and then go back in the water and periodically return to feed the baby, but sometimes the pups end up getting bashed about on the rocks and head further up the beach where walkers find them."

Following the news of the seal's rescue on BBC Guernsey the station's listeners suggested a number of names for the pup and, in keeping with the time of year, the GSPCA settled on Pumpkin.




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