Orkney Seal Rescue

Dyke End, South Ronaldsay, Orkney
KW17 2TJ Tel: 01856 831463
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Every seal casualty is assessed individually. When an animal is reported we first establish the problem. Seals naturally spend some time ashore and healthy animals normally return to the sea immediately when approached. If a seal is reluctant to move, it could be ill.

Unless the seal is obviously ill or injured, or is an extremely thin and undernourished young pup, we first observe it with minimum disturbance for up to 36 hours. Wildlife belongs in the wild and rescuing an animal that does not need help would cause unnecessary stress. If the seal does need help, our team will take it to our Rescue Centre.


On admission to our centre a rescued seal is weighed, measured and examined. It will stay in our isolation unit for two weeks, to prevent 'cross infection’. The seal then moves to our rehabilitation area and finally to water pools, where it can swim and build up muscle in preparation for release back to the wild.

Severely underweight animals and those suffering infections require intensive care. This involves tube- feeding of specialized diets, plus antibiotics, vitamins and minerals.

Injured seals have wounds cleaned and are given antibiotics and analgesics. Seals are wild animals and don't like being handled, so we keep stress to a minimum. Seals can be in our care from 3 weeks to 6 months.

Our Centre is often home to seal bars, abandoned by their mothers or separated during storms. For their first weeks pups rely on their mother's milk, so orphans are tube-fed a substitute that is more than 50% fat. This ensures they put on weight and build up a thick layer of blubber to keep them warm in the cold sea. Pups are weaned to a ‘fish soup’, before graduating to whole fish.

Orkney Seal Rescue
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