Rare ringed seal found in Scotland released into the wild


Ringed seals have only been seen 30 times in the past 100 years in the UK (Photo: PA)

A rare ringed seal found injured in Aberdeen has been released into the wild after recovering.

The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) worked to recover the Hispie before being released into the waters of the Shetlands.

Ringed seals have only been seen in Britain 30 times over the past century and are more frequently found in Arctic waters.

In August, the Hispie was found sluggish and with multiple injuries at Cove Bay Harbor.

He was between six and eight weeks old before he was taken to the charity’s National Wildlife Rescue Center when he was sighted in Scottish waters.

The hippie was taken to the Shetlands, Scotland’s northernmost island, in hopes he could return home.

Sarah Beatty, deputy director of the rescue center, traveled north with Hispy.

The hippie was around six to eight weeks old when he was found (Photo: PA)

They were released into Shetland waters in the hope of returning home (Photo: PA)

“We are delighted to be able to release the Hispy into the forest to which he belongs,” she said.

“We don’t know how Hispie ended up in Aberdeen or what prompted him to part ways with his mother.

“Although he was only six to eight weeks old when he arrived here, he recovered from his injuries and quickly started to gain weight.

“Our team arranged to take him to the Shetlands to free him from the northernmost point of Scotland and have the best possible chance of getting home to where he is.”

Ringed seals are commonly found in the Atlantic (Photo: PA)

Undated photo of a rare seal found injured in Aberdeen.  The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) worked to recover the Hispy - a rare ringed seal that has only been seen 30 times in the past century in Britain - before releasing it in the waters of Shetland.  Release date: Saturday, October 23, 2021. Photo PA.  See the story of PA Pets Seal.  Photo credit should read: SSPCA / PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This document photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for contemporary illustration of the events, things or people in the image or facts mentioned in the legend.  Reuse of image may require additional permission from the copyright holder.The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) works to cure Hispies (Photo PA)

She continued, “The team at the center did a fantastic job rehabilitating her and preparing her for life in nature.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the way the outing went. He didn’t stay very long and it was great to see him again in his natural habitat and start his journey home.

“It’s always a wonderful feeling to see an animal we care for that is successfully released into the wild, but it’s even more special when it comes to such a rare species.”

Prior to his release on Saturday, Hispie spent the night at Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary on the island.

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