The Seal Rescue centre in Courtown last week welcomed on board its first kennel sponsor. Paul Gorby, manager of Amber Park at The Amber Springs Hotel in Gorey paid a visit to the centre to hand over a cheque for €600, and the company's name is now displayed over one of the twelve kennels at the facility.
Seal Rescue Ireland manager Ivan Kelly said they approached various businesses seeking sponsorship of €500 per kennel, and Amber Park was the first to reply and went one step better and donated €600. He said the sponsorship will help them buy the equipment needed in the kennel, such as mats and heat lamps.
'It's very welcome and a huge boost to help keep us going,' said Ivan, sincerely thanking The Amber Springs Hotel. Other sponsors are welcome to donate. Ivan said that there's currently huge pressure on their resources as 61 seals are in residence.
There has been a delay in returning several of them to the wild, as they have been in isolation due to an outbreak of seal pox, a seal version of chicken pox. Ivan said that the majority of the 19 seals affected are ready to be released when the condition clears. They are being kept apart from the other seals in one of the pools at the facility.
'It's been a busy winter, but we can feel it easing off now,' he said. 'The common seal pups will start coming in around May.
Injured seals continue to arrive at the centre. Last week, a two-month old seal, now named Hades, was brought in from Clogherhead Beach in Co Louth.
It had been stuck on the beach for several days, and was being attacked by seagulls. It had several wounds on its head and nearly lost an eye.
The centre always needs donations of cash to help with food and medical bills and other costs. Equipment such as towels, bushes, and hose pipe taps and connections are also needed.
See www.sealrescueireland.org for more information.
Volunteers are also needed, especially people who can visit schools on behalf of the centre. A maintenance person with plumbing skills is also needed. The centre is open to visitors daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.