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Murrisk seal released back into the wild

SEA SWEET SEA Janie getting her first taste of freedom on Culleenamore beach in Sligo after recovering from her horrific injuries.

Murrisk seal pup released back into the wild

Anton McNulty


Janie, the seal pup with horrific injuries that was rescued in Murrisk in July, was released back into the wild on Thursday after making a remarkable recovery.
Sisters Sheila Hulme and Helena Hoban from Carrowkeel, Murrisk, found the pup, which had been mauled most probably by a dog, stranded along the shore below Murrisk Abbey. Just one week old and 9.5kg, there was little hope for Janie, as she was later named.
However, after months of rehabilitation in the Seal Sanctuary in Dingle, Janie astounded her handlers by making a strong recovery. After increasing in weight to 27kg, she was released into the sea at Culleenamore beach in Sligo last Thursday.
Feisty Janie was adopted by Sheila and Helena while in the Seal Sanctuary, which meant they sponsored her care. Sheila told The Mayo News that they were delighted she made a full recovery, even though they would miss getting regular updates on her progress.
Sheila was unable to attend the release due to work, but her husband John and sister Helena travelled to witness Janie swim back to the wild.
“She swam so far out and came back in again, she must have been too cold for her,” laughed Sheila. “She was released along with three others who were rescued around the same time as her. They chose Sligo because there is a seal colony there and it will be safer. She did not have too far to swim to meet up with the others. We will miss seeing her, but she should be fine, and it is good she was able to be released back into the wild.”
Janie had been stranded on the shore in Murrisk for up to three days when she was found. Her wounds included a damaged eye and bites to her neck. She was taken to a vet in Loughrea, where she was treated for her injuries and dehydration and later brought to the Seal Sanctuary in Dingle.
Sheila described the sanctuary’s work as ‘absolutely marvellous’, adding that it was all voluntary. Without them, Janie would not have survived, she said.

HAVE YOUR SAY email antonmcnulty@mayonews.ie with your comments

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