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Common seal pup beats the odds to recover after being found abandoned on Norfolk beach

Rumba the seal is recovering well. Picture: Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary

Rumba the seal is recovering well. Picture: Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary

Archant

A common seal pup discovered among the rocks at Brancaster beach in north Norfolk is recovering well.

Found by a resident in May, Rumba, as he’s been named, was underweight and malnourished, weighing just 7kg, after being abandoned at birth.

With most common seal pups weighing up to 10kg, this was cause for concern for the staff at Sea Life Hunstanton Sanctuary who rescued Rumba and brought him back to the centre for care.

Rumba had been born just a few hours earlier as his umbilical cord was still attached, and his white fur coat intact.

A Sea Life expert said that with common seal pups’ white coat usually shedding in the mothers’ womb, it was clear that Rumba had not only been abandoned but also born six weeks premature.

They suggested that Rumba’s premature birth was likely due to the mother seal becoming ill or stressed, causing him to be born early and leaving him with a slim chance of survival.

Sea Life aquarist Nicky Nelson, who is closely monitoring Rumba, said: “Being born so prematurely Rumba’s chances of survival were very slim when he was rescued.

“It’s incredibly sad to think that he might not have made it if he had gone undiscovered. He was both underweight and malnourished which was very concerning for us.”

The Sea Life team has been feeding him a special blend of fish soup which contains all the nutrients he needs to build his health back up, and coming to the centre to feed him every three hours through the night.

Rumba has now been recovering at the centre for four weeks with the hope of being released back into the wild in August.

He enjoys playful bath times and, despite the odds, he is now making a healthy recovery.

Having to fend for themselves is a difficult start for any young animal, needless to say a premature seal pup.

Have you been able to help a seal discovered on a Norfolk beach? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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