Ili Pika was adopted by Seal Rescue Ireland when she was found stuck in an oyster trestle table. Her mother would have likely been scared off by the noise of loud machinery, leaving the seal pup orphaned. After maintaining a healthy weight, she was weaned off a bottle. She was then introduced to fish, able to eat them whole despite her size, and surprised staff with her immediate fondness for the water in her very own bathtub.
Her feisty personality shone through when staff members approached her beloved bathtub. She would bark and slap away anything to enter the tub, making it impossible to clean, assuring staff that Ili Pika was developing a fighting spirit necessary for surviving in the wild. Despite her adoration for the tub that felt like home, Ili Pika was getting bigger and stronger, needing more space.
After day 34, staff felt that cheeky Ili Pika would be ready to enter the big pool and meet other seals. Of course, she was a popular addition to the community of rescues, making friends with ease. Here, the seals learn social cues and have a chance to build muscle. Once she weighs 30 kilos she’ll be ready to be reintroduced to the wild. Watch this enduring video below.
Seal Rescue Ireland
Seal Rescue Ireland operates as a registered NPO with a primary mission focused on the rescue, recovery, and eventual release. For seals that are unwell, injured, or orphaned along the Irish coastline. In addition to their hands-on rescue efforts, they proactively involve the public in marine conservation initiatives. This is through educational endeavors, research initiatives, and community outreach programs.
Seals in Ireland
In Ireland, you can find two common species of seals: the Common Seal and the Grey Seal. The Grey Seal is the larger of the two species and is more commonly seen along the western and northern coasts.
Common Seals are usually found along the east coast of Ireland, while Grey Seals are more abundant on the west coast, particularly in regions like Connemara and the Blasket Islands. They can also be spotted along the southern coast and some parts of Northern Ireland.
Grey Seals in Ireland typically give birth to their pups in late autumn and early winter. Peak pupping season occurring in November and December. Common Seals, on the other hand, tend to give birth in the summer.
Some well-known pupping sites for Grey Seals in Ireland include places like Bull Rock and Blasket Islands in County Kerry, as well as Lambay Island in County Dublin. These locations provide safe and sheltered spots for seals to give birth and raise their pups. Many tour operators offer boat trips to protected colonies, providing tourists with a chance to observe seals in their natural habitat.
They are considered “Protected Species” and are also listed under the EU Habitats Directive. This protection is crucial for their conservation, as they face various threats such as habitat disturbance, entanglement in fishing gear, and pollution.
It’s important to remember that they are wild animals, and it’s essential to observe them from a safe and respectful distance. This is to minimize disturbance and stress to the animals and to comply with wildlife protection regulations.
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