Scots seal pups saved in epic 182 mile rescue mission after being abandoned

Two abandoned seal pups have been saved in a 182-mile rescue by land and sea.

The cute week-old pair were found at Stornoway Airport on the Isle of Lewis on Thursday and driven to a rehabilitation centre in Caithness by Donna Hopton, of British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

It is rare for a seal to have twins, so it’s unlikely the female and male are related.

They were checked by vets before being taken by a CalMac ferry to the mainland and then driven by Donna to the Caithness Seal Rehab and Release Centre in Brough.

Julia Cable, director of operations at BDMLR, said: "It is never certain why premature pups become separated from their mother. Sometimes they are abandoned.

"Both of these were under 10kg and they are doing well so far. It is never quite certain with common seal pups if they will survive as they are not as hardy as grey seals. But we are hopeful.

"Donna is a real star – she has done three or four of these rescues. We hope these two will reach a stage where they can be released into the wild.” Thousands of seal pups are born in June and July throughout the UK.

They are born well developed without a white coat, which is shed in the uterus – unlike grey seal pups, which are born with a white coat.

Their mothers feed them on a rich milk allowing them to double their birth weight in their first few weeks.

Julia added: “Many end up abandoned and alone for various reasons and without their mothers milk, and help from a rescue organisation, they will undoubtedly perish.

“As a small charity, we are constantly under financial pressure in order to carry out our lifesaving work.

“Any donations will pay for the cost of fuel to get our medics to the rescue centre and also for the cost of the ferry that they travelled on in a 182-mile trip – and the medic still needed to get back.”

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