Date: November 27, 2006 5:04:40 PM
Seal Alert-SA Baby Seal Rehab Centre
The open roof (5m by 13m) Seal Centre and the view outside
Seal Alert-SA Seal Centre is under construction. We already have 4 baby seals awaiting their new head-quaters, their home 'away from home'. By end of December we should have the first of three sea-water pools complete. In the pic above the 2.5 m wide by 5 m pools, will line the right-hand side. Continously pumped with seawater from below. Pups will have a mini-island to crawl out on and recover, and grow. Room is filled with natural sunlight and plenty of fresh air. We plan to have one pool for babies, one for weanlings and one for older larger seals.
Two of the babies already rescued, are very weak and still have their umbelical-cords attached, the other two are less than ten days old. In addition we have two weanlings (11 month old's) from Namibia sharing our existing facilities, with the babies. Another 12 weanlings are in the wild, being rehabbed on the rafts, in addition two sub-adults. By the end of December we expect to have a baby seal colony of about 20 babies >from at least seven different seal colonies.
We are planning to instal a roller-shutter gate of the left-side of the far wall (depending on funding) in which our Seashepherd Rescue Duck and Jetski (Sponsored by Phil Wollen) will be housed for immediate response. The other jetski (sponsored by the Seal Supporters will be operated from my house). After three months the babies will be transferred to the Beauty Without Cruelty Catamaran, (which will undergo so modifications), where alongside the two rafts, will complete their next 8-12 months of rehab. We have a 4x4 for long range (thanks to Jose and Marius and Marchig Trust) seal collection and two seal beach buggies.
I have wetsuits, drysuits, camera. In otherwords, day or night, calm seas or extreme rough, near or far, I am ready to respond and equipped to deal with almost any seal rescue situation, involving any age group of seal. For centuries man-kind just saw these seals as something to discard, kill and abuse. Thanks to you all, the seals have a friend, their protector, ready to go to battle or their aid, at a moments notice.
We unfortunately have zero funding, and as such appeal for whatever help you can offer - we need, a portable water-pump, pool-filter, generator, roller-shutter door, deep-freezer, and funding for additional construction of the other two pools. Our basic funding requirements are about R40 000 and we have about R13 000.
For seven years I struggled alone in the wild, doing a thousand rescues a year. To finally, have a head-quaters to operate from, is like winning the "Seal Lottery", a huge continous strain and immense stress has been lifted (thanks to Oceana the largest fishing company in SA, who have kindly made the premises available for free). To all that has made this possible, you have indeed done a great, great thing and something you should all be proud of.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA