Saving seal pups in Helsinki

Saving seal pups in Helsinki

SEAL PUPS: Fur is white while dependent on mother Photo credit: Lucid-Al on DeviantArt

Four grey seal pups are currently being nursed back to health at Korkeasaari Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital in Helsinki.

When the first two arrived from Inkoo at the end of March they still had the white puppy fur that keeps them warm during the first weeks of dependence on their mothers for survival.

One was found on the Inkoo shore and the other on a sandy pathway, the zoo explained.  Both had been separated too early from their mothers but by April their grey adult fur had appeared and they were learning to fish for their own food at the rehabilitation centre’s pool.

Another pup from the Inkoo harbour area was brought in with an injured front flipper and two missing claws while another, rescued and found at Westend in late April, had deep wounds probably caused by a boat propeller.

The final stage of the pups’ rehabilitation involves acclimatisation in an outdoor seawater pool before they are strong enough to be released into a protected marine area, the zoo said.

Seal pups are often spotted resting along the shore in Helsinki’s Vuosaari and Katajanokka neighbourhoods but the zoo experts explained that this was normal and they should not be disturbed.

Pups that appeared to be thin could also be avoiding the water as they still lacked sufficient blubber for insulation, they added.  Others sometimes wandered inland far from the sea but even the smallest could defend themselves by biting, they said.

Members of the public were advised to keep a safe distance from any pups they saw but if they were concerned about their condition, the Wildlife Hospital could be consulted via phone, the zoo said.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at