A group of cows helped to save the life of a 5-day-old baby seal pup at Frampton Marsh Nature Reserve in Lincolnshire, U.K.
A bird-watcher at the reserve says he did not see any birds through his telescope, but something much more unusual. He noticed roughly a dozen wide-eyed cows surrounding a baby seal that was stuck in the mud.
The bird-watcher, Ian Ellis, 67, told ABC News he had been bird-watching three weeks before when he “saw the seal was in distress.” Ellis used his phone to call for help.
“There are seals are on the edge of the marsh but it was the way the cows were so inquisitive that made me look,” Ellis said.
The reserve is under the protection of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The group then contacted Skegness Natureland Seal Sanctuary for guidance, a local seal rescue organization, reported ABC News.
“We were able to give advice about how to take the seal out of the situation, and Ellis was able to recover it with the help of wardens,” Seal Sanctuary director Duncan Yeadon told ABC News. “They took her back to the seal hospital, where she’s still recovering in at the moment.”
Yeadon believes the seal became stranded when the tide went out, reported the Daily Mail.
Veterinarians learned that the seal was only around 5 days old. She was underweight and dehydrated. She also had a chest infection that was affecting her breathing, Yeadon said.
“We know she wouldn't have survived out there if she was just left there on the beach,” he said. “She's now on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and will hopefully be out of the hospital in the next week. Then it'll usually take us about three months to put sufficient weight on her and teach her how to eat fish before we release her back into the wild again.”
“We gave her rehydration fluid through a stomach tube and are now giving her high-fat herrings which will help her gain back the weight,” Yeadon said.
Yeadon said they named the seal Celebration because the sanctuary’s 50th anniversary of operation is this year.
“She’s quite friendly,” Yeadon said. “She’s quite nice, very trusting and accepting of all the treatment we’re giving her. She’s not trying to bite our hands. She’s very docile.”
Yeadon says Celebration will likely be nursed to health and released back into the wild in September.