Six orphaned seals reared in captivity have been
released back into the wild with satellite technology to track how
well they adapt to life at sea.
The RSPCA said four seals were tagged and released
back into the Wash, off the Norfolk-Lincolnshire Coast, in March.
The seals have transmitters glued to their fur
which will help record where they are, how long they are underwater
and how deep they dive.
It means that the RSPCA can keep an eye on them
to make sure they are coping in the wild.
The four males and two females were found stranded
along the east coast when they were just two or three months old.
They had become separated from their mothers and
were suffering from malnutrition.
The seals were taken to the East Winch Wildlife
Centre in Norfolk where staff fed them until they were healthy again.
Staff gave them the names of Nemo, Hercules, Shrek,
Morocco, Snoopy and Skippy.
The satellites were glued to their backs but will
come off when the seals begin to moult in August.
The RSPCA wants to learn more about the impact
of seals being reared in captivity. For example, they will find
out if the seals know how to dive for food, or if they need to be
taught these skills.
By Sheila McKeown, a librarian at the Millennium Library in
Seal, by Steve Parker. Hodder Wayland 2003,
Seal: Wild Britain, by Louise Spilsbury.
Heinemann 2003, ISBN 043103933x.
You can get hold of these books through
your local library.
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