X Factor seal pups nursed back to health
- 21 November 2012
- From the section Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin
Four seal pups named after X Factor judges are being nursed back to health after they were stranded off the Isle of Man coast in stormy weather.
The six-week-old grey seal pups named Simon, Nicole, Gary and Tulisa are regaining their strength on a diet of fish soup, vitamins and herring.
The pups are the latest to be nursed by Jenny Corran at the Manx Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The MSPCA has rescued and returned more than 100 seals since 2001.
Ms Corran said: "All four were well underweight when brought to the sanctuary but they are quickly gaining weight on their new diet."
Once the pups reach full strength they will be released back into the wild.
'Will to fight'
Ms Corran said: "They will only go back when they are 100% ready.
"You don't have any doubts whether they will make it or not - you know they are going to do it because they have the will to fight."
When the pups are born they weigh around 12kg and a healthy seal pup can weigh as much as 60kg within three weeks.
Ms Corran said: "The mother weans herself straight away and goes back to sea to fish.
"The pups have to shed their white coats and learn to fish almost immediately.
"If it is bad weather they won't fish. So they can actually go back to birth weight and that's when we come in."
Although grey seals are a familiar sight around the Isle of Man, they are one of the rarest seals in the world.
According to the Manx Wildlife Trust around 40 pups are born in Manx waters each year.
"The four we have this year also have a variety of other issues including septic bite marks, abscesses and Tulisa has a poorly eye," Ms Corran said.
"Each has its own distinct personality just like the X Factor judges."