VIP airlift for seal pup found abandonded

6 June 2018, 10:19 | Updated: 6 June 2018, 10:20

Loganair seal

A baby seal has been flown to the mainland for specialist treatment after she was found abandoned on an island.

The harbour seal pup, which is less than two weeks old, was rescued on Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides by local vet David Buckland after occupants of a house overlooking Prince's Beach discovered her on June 1.

Mr Buckland provided her with plenty of fluids as she was extremely malnourished.

It is not known what happened to her mother.

Once she was fit to travel, the seal was flown to Glasgow by Loganair, free of charge, and then taken to the Scottish SPCA National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fischcross, Clackmannanshire, to continue her recovery.

Mr Buckland, from the Southern Isles Veterinary Practice, accompanied the pup on her journey on Monday evening.

Loganair managing director Jonathan Hinkles said: "It was a pleasure to make arrangements to fly the baby seal pup to Glasgow, and make sure she was given first-class service for her first time on board an aircraft.

"The Highlands and Islands is our heartland and we're always glad to help where we can."

The rescue centre is also caring for a young male pup rescued from the Isle of Eigg and both seals will be looked after together until they are ready to be released back into the wild.

Scottish SPCA centre manager Colin Seddon said: "We have received a young female harbour seal at our centre in Fishcross, who seems to be in reasonably good health.

"She was found on a beach in Eriskay and appeared to be dehydrated.

"Harbour seals are very vulnerable, and we will be keeping a close eye on her while she remains in our care.

"We also received a male harbour seal of around the same age from the Isle of Eigg. He has improved overnight but will require round-the- clock care over the coming days.

"Having two pups in at the same time is great for socialisation and the pair will be reared together.

"When they are ready to go back into the wild we will be able to release them at a suitable location on the west coast together."

Loganair has launched a competition on social media to name the pups, with the choices in line with SSPCA's Disney/Pixar theme for 2018: Ariel and Eric, Nala and Simba. or Dory and Marlin from the films The Little Mermaid, The Lion King and Finding Nemo.

Loganair is no stranger to carrying unusual animals, particularly having flown Shetland ponies to Fair Isle in the 1970s.