It was in July when wildlife rescue workers in the U.K. first laid compassionate eyes on an injured seal pup they later named Helena.
Helena suffered from fish hook wounds all over her body and needed immediate care. One of her eyes was so severely damaged by fishing gear that a veterinarian had to surgically remove the eye.
But Helena proved to be a fighter and survived the risky operation.
Helena spent four months recovering at Blue Reef Marine Rescue Centre in Tynemouth, England, near Whitley Bay where she was found.
She wasn’t alone during her recovery — Helena had the company of a fellow seal named Verne, who was found abandoned and underweight.
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Helena was brought into our rescue centre last month after being caught in fishing gear off the coast of Whitley Bay. Unfortunately she needed an operation to remove her eye due to the damage caused by the fishing gear. Thankfully this went well and she is back recovering in our Marine Rescue Centre. Thank you to British Divers Marine Life Rescue, St. Mary’s Seal Watch and St-Clair Veterinary Care for playing a massive part in her rescue, operation and rehabilitation. #Seal #MarineRescue #SealRescue #Whitley Bay #Tynemouth #Aquarium
It took a talented team of people to nurse both seals back to health, and in early November, the seals were deemed healthy enough to be released back into the wild.
Blue Reef team members brought Helena and Verne to the shores near St. Mary’s Lighthouse to bid them goodbye.
As rescuers opened the seal’s crates, two eager heads emerged and began to bound down the shore and into the sea.
Rescuers watched as the two began to swim away, heads bobbing in the gentle waves.
It was a heartwarming moment that made the Blue Reef team proud of how far both seals had come.
“It has been a long journey to get these two to a stage where they can be released,” Susie Lovick-Earle told the Chronicle Live. “Especially with Helena’s injuries, this has been a difficult case for our team.”
Both seals have been tagged, making them easily identifiable should either end up at a rescue facility in the future.
“We were so pleased to see them go and wish them both well for their lives,” Lovick-Earle said.
Since its inception over ten years ago, the Blue Reef Marine Rescue Centre has rescued over 200 seals, nursing them back to health and then releasing them back into the wild.
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