Durban — A subantarctic fur seal that had stranded on Treasure Beach, Bluff, on Monday was transported to uShaka Sea World for rest and recuperation.

On Tuesday morning, the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (Saambr) Mammal and Bird and Veterinary staff visited Treasure Beach to reassess the subantarctic fur seal.

Saambr said that although the seal showed no signs of external trauma, it appeared a little underweight and was understandably lethargic. After consultation with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the decision was made to transport the seal to uShaka Sea World for rest and recuperation.

“Although the seal appears quite feisty, he appears to be a little underweight. To give him a helping hand we administered fluids and supplements,” said Saambr clinical veterinarian Dr Caryl Knox.

Saambr said that it is not uncommon for subantarctic fur seals to rest on KZN beaches at this time of the year before continuing their travels across the ocean. Unless the seal appears compromised or it is felt the seal is being disturbed by people or dogs, the approved decision is always to leave the seal to rest naturally on the beach.

Saambr said that in this instance, it was clear that this was not a possibility.

“We are grateful to the members of the public who contacted the KZN Stranding Network yesterday (Monday) and shared information that a seal had stranded on the beach,” Saambr said.

“The seal, who hasn’t as yet been named, has already won our hearts and we look forward to a successful rehabilitation and release once he has been given the all-clear by our veterinary team.”

Last July, Saambr released a seal, named Admiral Tweni, back into the ocean after he was rehabilitated.

Admiral Tweni was found stranded near Winkelspruit Beach in May 2022. The KZN Marine Stranding Network and KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife brought Tweni to the Saambr rehabilitation facility for medical observations and care.

Animal care specialist at Saambr, Ana-Alicia Eyre, said Tweni had one eye and was quite thin on arrival but recovered well and reached his release-ready target weight thanks to the constant care by the animal care and health teams.

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2023-05-31T14:48:44Z dg43tfdfdgfd