Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Forth Emergency Service

Well you just never know what is coming up next on the island. The next day we found that if they try hard young seals can get themselves in all sorts of difficult situations. Via  Maggie and James from the Scottish Seabird Centre  and via the contractors it appeared that there was a young seal stuck down a hole at Lady's Bed.  Maggie and James had come out with all the right equipment to see if they could get the animal out of a small hole  that is the remains of an old sea cave at the back of  Lady's Bed.  The hole was tiny and we don't know what possessed the seal to get in the hole but the step was too high for it to get back out again. According the the contractors it seemed to have been in there for up to a week but then they do have reserves that they can live off. Maggie and James gave it a good try to get it out and got a long board down into the hole for a ramp but unfortunately ran out of time and they had to catch the boat back. So those left on the island decided to give it a go and in the end it was Carrie, a seabird researcher who was the star of the rescue show by managing to get a loop of rope over its head (she could win a lot of prizes at a fairground), and behind its flippers so that it could be pulled up a plank and out of the hole. The pup was pretty weak but once it had been dipped in a pool for a quick drink it soon perked up and we were then able to put it into the sea where it seemed to be delighted in just getting wet and blowing bubbles under the water. Though weak it immediately started poking around for food so we hope that it will make a full recovery and maybe have learnt from the experience. It must have lost a fair bit of blubber as its skin was like an extra large overcoat.
The hole the seal managed to get into in the lower centre of the picture.

A hungry seal - the ledge was too high for it to get back out.

Maggie and James from the Scottish Seabird Centre putting in a plank in the hole to form a ramp.

A wash down in a rock pool

Glad to be out of the hole.

The grubby team - Colin, Carrie and myself. 

Just in case anyone thinks it might be fun to get up close to a young seal it must be stressed that we took great care in handling the pup, not only for the pups sake but seal bites can become badly infected very quickly due to the bacteria found in their mouths. So people, please don't try this at home.

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