Another storm-tossed, injured, starving Grey Seal Pup came to Irish Seal Sanctuary (ISS) from Wexford yesterday, bringing current facilities to capacity. One third of all rescued seals annually come from Wexford, a testament to the willingness and abilities of 1st Responders and volunteers in that county. They this week however occupy 4 out of 5 places at ISS and it is a shame after this long record and tradition of rescue in Wexford that support and facilities are not further advanced…..indeed a facility lies idle and un-staffed! Other hot spots for seal strandings countrywide are little better served, leaving the “stressed” and voluntary ISS to carry the load nationally and without support.
The ISS is grateful to all, who have tried bringing this work to fruition and a permanent home. It is evident however, the voluntary ethos and “not for profit” nature of the ISS is what lends it so uniquely and well to securing and sustaining this work. It merely requires seed-funding or a site to put it on a self-sustaining employment creating, revenue earning footing and becoming a valuable visitor attraction in any coastal community.
The ISS after a couple of difficult years, homeless, is working to restore capacity and secure a site and permanent home for this public service.
In the meantime 1st responders in Wexford and around the coast, until further outlets are found, are being advised to contain stranding situations on the beach: with the public, get animals in need of attention to the closest local vet, notify the local conservation ranger NPWS, source a host locally for the recovering seal, record it’s progress with media, and lobby authorities to improve supports for this public interest task.
ISS 1st responders will happily guide vets and public safely through basic rescue and husbandry tasks and full veterinary advice is available via ISS/UCD Vet College website or direct contact with ISS consultant vets.
The ISS is urgently applying itself to sourcing further outlets and invites potential “Seal Hosts” for even 1 animal for 1 season to contact us! The ISS is willing to provide expert advice, training and support “in-situ” for any volunteer, group or community willing to host a recovering seal locally. Seals already in are benefiting by this “Flying Column” approach, in absence of ISS home and facilities.
The “Ladybird Kit” for a temporary “Seal Sanctuary in your Back Yard” can be as simple as a few pallets, builders’ plastic or old linoleum and an old bath or tub!!
We all had to start that way and after that a couple of dedicated hours a day for a couple of weeks to begin with, decreasing as seal fast progresses to independence and good will is all that is needed.
Recession is a challenge to all wildlife and animal welfare agencies but with the knowledge and skills base built up by ISS over a quarter of a century, with help and concerned communities, seals can still be rescued.
With ISS help, you can “Start Your Own Seal Sanctuary” with next rescue……..
Brendan Price, Founder ISS 087 3245423