An abandoned grey seal, which was rescued after being found starving on a north Northumberland beach on New Year’s Day, has been safely returned to the sea at the same spot it was discovered.
Mabel Ross, 81, came across the stricken creature near to her home at Foxton and contacted the RSPCA.
It was taken to Blue Reef Aquarium in Tynemouth and nursed back to health.
And on Monday, the seal, which is a juvenile, was brought back to Foxton and returned to the sea. For Mabel, it was a satisfying moment.
“It was very gratifying and tear-jerking and it is a nice ending to this story,” she said.
“When I came across the seal, it was looking very poorly.
“I couldn’t bear to leave it. I tried to get it back into the sea, but it wasn’t having it, so I got in touch with the RSPCA, who kindly came out.”
The seal weighed less than 15kg when it was found, but with a diet of herring, the aquarium helped to increase its weight to more than 37kg.
Bryan Moffitt, animal collection officer at the RSPCA, said: “The seal was very light and it was starving so it had to come off the beach. The aquarium has done a really good job.”
The seal’s fin has been marked orange so it can be identified if there are any problems.
Bryan thanked Mabel for reporting the abandoned seal and urged others to do the same by calling the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.