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Seal pups wash up at St Francis Bay beach - after a 2150 nautical mile journey

Sep 11, 2018
Seal pups wash up at St Francis Bay beach - after a 2150 nautical mile journey

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) in St Francis Bay says on Monday it assisted in the rescue of a seal pup believed to have been washed off an island – some 2150 nautical miles away.

According to Stuart Obray, NSRI St Francis Bay deputy station commander, on Monday afternoon, the NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated to investigate reports from a member of the public of a seal pup appearing to be injured at Cape St Francis beach.

“Members of our NSRI St Francis Bay sea rescue crew responded and found the seal pup on the beach alone and appearing to be emaciated and dehydrated.

“This seal was quite feisty and the public member assisted us by creating a distraction for the seal after initial attempts to capture the seal were evaded but then with the distraction we were able to safely capture the seal,” he described.

“We believe the seal pup to be an Antarctic Fur Seal and we took the seal into our care.

“The St Francis Kromme Enviro Trust arrived and they will transport the seal pup to the Bayworld Oceanarium for further care and the seal pup is expected to fully recover.

“This seal pup is the second found on the shores of Cape St Francis recently.”

Obray said that the first seal pup was also transported to Bayworld Oceanarium, in Port Elizabeth, where the Bayworld team report the seal to be recovering well. 

He added that Bayworld staff have named the seal pup ‘Stan’, “named after Stan Obray, my brother who is an NSRI St Francis Bay trainee crew member and who joined me in rescuing the seal pup at Shark Point on Thursday, 06th September”.

“That rescued seal pup has reportedly made friends with another Arctic Fur Seal that is also at Bayworld and the seal that we recovered today will join them at Bayworld.

“It is believed that the Arctic Fur Seal pups are most probably from the island French Southern and Antarctic Lands situated South East of South Africa,” Obray.

“It is reportedly believed that most likely the pups were washed off the Island in storm seas and have come ashore on the Eastern Cape coastline a distance of some 2150 nautical miles. 

“NSRI are grateful to the St Francis Kromme Enviro Trust, Bayworld Oceanarium and the public for their assistance and the local vet who assisted in the first case on Thursday.”

Images: Pictures by Sea Rescue St Francis Bay

See more NSRI related articles HERE.

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