A hardy crowd of supporters gathered on a cold Courtown north beach on Sunday afternoon to watch Seal Rescue Ireland release two seals back to the wild.
Two lucky seals, named Electra and Phoenix, who were rescued back in October, had been rehabilitated back to health and were now ready to go back into the sea. All seals this season are being named after Comic Marvel Characters.
Electra was rescued from a beach in Wexford. She was very thin and had a severe respiratory infection. Once she started eating fish on her own, she quickly started gaining weight and was on the road to recovery. She was only 13kg when she arrived, and weighed 37kg when released.
Phoenix, who was from Waterford, had extensive bite wounds upon arrival which took a while to heal. After a course of antibiotics and some professional wound treatment, she was on her road to recovery.
December is one of Courtown-based Seal Rescue Ireland's busiest times of the year because of grey seal pupping season. They have over 20 seal pups in care at the facility behind Courtown Adventure and Leisure Centre at present and are open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Seal Rescue Ireland will host another seal release on New Year's Day at 1 p.m. on the north beach at Courtown. This will also be the day of their Seal Dip fundraiser where supporters swim in the sea before the release to raise funds to help the seals.
Learn more or register at: www.sealrescueireland.org/fundraisers/. Other ways to show your support include adopting a seal; purchasing a seal calendar; donating online; or purchasing items on their wish list such as laundry powder or heat lamp bulbs. Seal Rescue Ireland receives no reliable funds from government and depends heavily on community support to keep its doors open.
The organisation is looking for volunteers to provide: animal rescue, animal care, admin assistance, tour guides, volunteer coordinator, management positions, maintenance, electrician, and plumber. For more, email firstname.lastname@example.org .