Abandoned seal pups find sanctuary at Christmas at Skegness Natureland

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There may be no room at the ‘inn’ this Christmas – but that is because keepers at Skegness Natureland are busier than ever caring for orphaned seal pups.

The breeding season at Donna Nook is now underway with already more than 2000 pups born at the coastal nature reserve.

Pups who become separated from their mothers in the North Sea often sadly end up on Linclnshire beaches exhausted, sick and underweight.

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However, calls for help from the public mean the lucky ones end up at seal hospitals at one on the county’s animal sanctuaries, including Skegnes Natureland.

Keeper  Emily Askew  (left) with Skegness Natureland director Daisy Yeadon.Keeper  Emily Askew  (left) with Skegness Natureland director Daisy Yeadon.
Keeper Emily Askew (left) with Skegness Natureland director Daisy Yeadon.

The good news for them is after an appeal for £12,000 which was also launched in the Skegness Standard in the summer, Natureland now is well-equipped with a new rescue van.

Looking through the windows of the seal hospital where nine grey seal pups are currently being cared for, sanctuary director Daisy Yeadon said they were delighted to finally be back on the road should they receive a call for help.

"We can’t thank everyone enough for their support to help us get a new van,” she said. “We were lost without it but they donated £6,000 to help buy a new one which is amazing.

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"We are full at the moment but we are ready to help when we can.”

Daisy said in recent years the number of seals needing rescue had risen – but the splendid job her keepers were doing in raising awareness was helping them when they needed it most.

Two keepers – Eden Willmott and Emily Askew – are getting quite a following on Instagram. Eden’s posts have 181,000 followers – and amongst Emily’s posts to her 62,000 followers were spotted by American TV, where her work recently featured in a news bulletin.

"What I try and teach on my social media posts is what to do if people come across a seal pup – to give them plenty of space at least 100 yards –and keep children and dogs away or mum might abandoned them.

"It was a surprise when my message went to America but they do have a lot of seals so it is good it is out there too.”

Visit Skegness Natureland Seal Sanctuary on Facebook for how to support them.

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