Rescue seal Slughorn ‘moves’ to Ireland after SSPCA aid

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A seal pup nurtured back to health in an SSPCA centre just a short drive from Falkirk is now “thriving” in the sea off the south Irish coast.

The animals charity cared for Slughorn – named after the Professor in the Harry Potter books – for around four months, after he arrived at the rescue centre near Alloa on Christmas Eve 2018 weighing just 19.5kg.

The wildlife team were able to release him on a beach on the west coast of Scotland last year, and has now been positively identified from County Wicklow in Ireland.

Seal Rescue Ireland used a tag with a unique ID number which was attached by the Scottish SPCA during his time with them. After contacting their network of marine mammal centres across Europe, they were able to determine that he was a former Scottish SPCA patient.

Scottish SPCA National Wildlife Rescue Centre head of seals, Kaniz Hayat, said: “We are over the moon to hear Slughorn is healthy and doing so well.”

“It’s amazing to think how far Slughorn has come from when he arrived at the centre seriously underweight.

“Knowing that he is thriving and has been fit enough to travel so far underlines why we do the job.

“After contacting their network of marine mammal centres across Europe, they were able to determine that he was a former resident of the Scottish SPCA.

“He managed to travel 60 miles to the beach in southern Ireland.

“We are always grateful to our friends at SRI for letting us know when they discover one of our pups. It’s incredible to be able to work together to monitor the movements of our former residents.”

Slughorn is just one of around 200 seals the Scottish SPCA cares for at its National Wildlife Rescue Centre each year.

Each seal costs an average of £500 from admission to release.