Tragic end to seal's visit to the Clarence
A RARE visitor washed up at a Clarence Valley beach last Sunday but lost its battle to stay alive yesterday.
ORRCA volunteer Megs Burgess received a call-out to the seal, which was reported injured on Sunday morning.
She arrived to find the pup eating a fish donated by a nearby fisherman. The pup, who was blind in his right eye, was still quite active and devoured the fish and then gathered himself up on the rocks to find some sun and had a sleep.
Ms Burgess stayed for several hours to monitor the seal on Sunday. However, during the past days, the seal's condition has deteriorated, with the seal losing much of its body fat.
Ms Burgess said veterinarians from Dolphin Marine Magic were called and took the animal into care, however it did not survive the trip back to Coffs Harbour.
ORRCA is a volunteer Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia focussing on the preservation and welfare of whales, dolphins, seals and dugongs in Australian waters. ORRCA operates a 24-hour hotline to report injured or stranded whales, dolphins, seals and dugongs on (02) 9415 3333.
Seal pups remain with their mothers for four to six weeks and are then weaned to forage and survive on their own.
Pups are precocious at birth, capable of swimming and following their mothers into the water immediately after birth.