People find all kinds of things washed up on the beach.
Besides the usual seashells and sand dollars and starfish, there are sometimes bits of sea glass and shark’s teeth.
Of course, sometimes things wash up that we don’t want to see, like trash from boats and picnickers.
But sometimes something washes ashore that surprises even the most dedicated beachgoers…
That’s what happened in Guernsey, an island located in the English Channel.
Passers-by had noted that a small mound of something furry they assumed to be an animal had washed up on the bank.
It wasn’t known immediately if the presumed animal was alive or not, but the SPCA sprang into action.
They sent Geoff George, an animal collection officer, to the scene.
It wasn’t an easy chore just to find the thing.
When he finally figured out where it was, he had to descend a steep cliff to see if there were any signs of life.
Looking down on the bedraggled mass of fur, George didn’t give much hope of that being the case.
But he bravely went down the side of the cliff to check things out. And was so glad that he had!
It turned out to be one of the thinnest seal pups that the organization had ever rescued. She was very weak and barely breathing, but she was still alive!
He got the pup into a sling that he carried on his back as he climbed back up the treacherous cliff.
It wasn’t his first rodeo.
“This bad weather really hasn’t helped our seal population around the Bailiwick and this is the first casualty, but we have been out to check other seals,” George said.
The pup, estimated to be about a week old, weighed 30 pounds.
Veterinarians who examined her were dismayed with her condition. They said her weight should have been closer to 88 pounds.
“Not only is the gray seal pup extremely thin it has been battered on the rocks, likely separated for some time from its mother and very dehydrated,” Guernsey SPCA wrote in a blog post.
The brave little pup, later named Bonnie by the staff at SPCA, was given fluids, placed under a heat lamp, and given round-the-clock care.
“We have to tube feed the very ill seal pup every two hours or so through the night, if not over the next few days for any chance of survival,” their blog post read.
That first 36 hours were touch-and-go…nobody was sure little Bonnie was going to be able to pull through.
She had beaten the odds to just stay alive in the angry sea alone. And guess what?
She beat the odds again.
When morning dawned, Bonnie met the sun with bright eyes. She had passed the worst hurdle in her recovery with flying colors.
Over the next few weeks Bonnie thrived. She responded to her care and bounced back to health in record speed.
Her wounds, from being tossed against the sharp rocks, healed quickly and soon she was zipping around in the water in her tank.
Steve Byrne, the manager said:,
“We really were worried for Bonnie the seal pup when she was rescued as she was so weak and we really thought she wouldn’t survive.
“Thanks to the hard work and care of the team at the GSPCA, especially Geoff George and a few sleepless nights caring for Bonnie the seal pup she has now more than tripled her rescue weight and looking fantastic.”
At last, after a long period of treatment, it was time to let Bonnie go back to doing what she did best. Being a seal.
And where best to do that than at Jethou Island.
“What an amazing day we have had to let Bonnie go back to the wild in such a special place,” Byrne said.
“Jethou has been an amazing release site and where we have now with Bonnie released 5 grey seal pups that we have rescued, rehabilitated and released and we know some are still seen coming back.”
George was there to see Bonnie off into her new home.
“We really didn’t think Bonnie would survive and today was very special and we are very thankful to those on Jethou for letting her be released in such a great site.“
It’s hard to watch someone you’ve grown to care about swim away.
But he finished by saying:
“Bonnie was so thin when we rescued her and to see her swim back where she belongs was fantastic.”
Source: NTD TV