An adorable young seal pup is safely recovering at a Shetland wildlife sanctuary after being found up a steep hill more than 600 meters away from the sea.
Luckily, a postie spotted the white coat seal pup in his rearview mirror while out on a round in North Nesting on Tuesday afternoon.
He pulled over and with the help of a local farmer managed to get the selkie in his van while he waited for the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary to arrive.
Pete Bevington, who runs the sanctuary in Shetland alongside his wife Jan, said the pup was a young male, possibly around a week old, separated from his mother during the stormy weather.
He believes the “handsome” pup – now called Rylee – probably moved more inland to get away from the “raging seas”.
Although seal pups have been found quite far inland before, 600 meters up a steep hill still seemed unusual to Mr Bevington.
He said: “This pup had obviously become separated from its mum in the raging seas we’ve been having over the last week or two, and had managed to head inland to get away from the sea.
“It was very lucky to have been found because whether it would have survived the night or not we’ll never know.
“This little fellow must have put in a huge effort to climb such a steep incline to get to where he was in atrocious weather conditions.”
Although Rylee is thin he appears to be quite healthy and has been sleeping a lot since being brought to the sanctuary.
It is hoped that they will be able to fatten him up and release him in the new year.
Billie came covered in ‘peck marks’
Last time there was constant stormy weather near the island there were around 14 gray seal pups, which is the most the sanctuary has had at once.
Rylee is now the second seal pup the sanctuary has rescued so far for the season.
Last week, they received a call about a fully moulted female seal pup lying on the Meal beach in Burra, clearly in need of help.
The Scottish SPCA was able to pick the selkie up and bring it to the sanctuary where she has been spending a lot of time sleeping off her ordeal.
Again, it is thought the stormy weather battered the seal – now called Billie – but the worst of her injuries is to her left eye.
Mr Bevington thinks the injury was caused by birds pecking at her while she was stranded on the beach.
She must have been washed ashore and the birds have been having a go at her because she’s got peck marks all over her including her eye – her left eye is not in very good shape at all.
“We’re hoping we’ll be able to save her eye.”
Follow Rylee and Billie’s progress on the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary Facebook page.
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[Seal pups recuperating in Shetland wildlife sanctuary following stormy weather]