Good luck Sweep & Shelly
A second group of Long Nose Fur Seals have been released back into the wild this week after a period of rehabilitation at Dolphin Marine Magic. The two seals, named Sweep and Shelly, were rescued as part of the Seal Storm event which took place earlier this year. Whilst most of the seals rescued gained weight and strength quickly, Sweep and Shelly were significantly emaciated and required a longer period of time to recover. However they both now weigh over 10kgs and were released at South Solitary Island this morning after a medical assessment found them ready to face the challenges of the wild.
DMM veterinarian Dr Duan March said “The release of these final two seals is a great outcome from the Seal Storm disaster with DMM successfully rehabilitating and releasing five seals in total which was the highest success rate in the country following this event. The effectiveness and success of this rehabilitation program has really only been possible due to the collaborative effort of DMM, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, the RSCPA and the rescue organisation ORRCA who were responsible for monitoring many of these seals on beaches before they came into care.”
Coffs Coast local Naomi Lang was on hand to assist with the release after winning the highly coveted seat on the boat through a competition run in the Coffs Coast Advocate. Naomi said “Releasing the seals was an amazing experience, watching Sweep & Shelly enter the ocean & swim happily around the boat was something I will always remember. Thank you”
“Even though the Seal Storm event has official finished, there are still a few seals hanging around the Coffs Coast area,” said Dr March. “Seals regularly haul out on rocks and beaches to rest, even when they don’t need human assistance, and they should never be approached as they can become quite aggressive. If you do see a seal on a beach or any other marine animal that you are concerned may be distressed, it’s best to call DMM on (02) 6659 1900 or the ORRCA hotline for an expert assessment of the situation.”