Seal returned to natural habitat after rescue from Sydeny storm

Less than two weeks after being rescued when much of the NSW east coast was hit by wild storms last month, an 18-month-old long-nosed fur seal has been released back into the wild outside Sydney heads.
The young seal, named ‘Elvis’, was found June 17 exhuasted and malnourished on South Curl Curl Beach in Sydney’s north before being taken to Taronga Wildlife Hospital.
Elvis›s release was a joint operation by Taronga vets, marine mammal rescue organisation ORRCA, and the RSPCA.
“He was initially a bit hesitant to get in the water, but eventually he dived in and started swimming strongly,” said Taronga’s Senior Veterinarian, Larry Vogelnest.
“He’s one of the lucky ones. He was pretty feisty when he first arrived at the hospital, which was a good indicator that he’d be a suitable candidate for short term care and release,” Larry said.
Shona Lorigan, the Vice President of ORRCA, reported that Elvis was one of the many young seals running into trouble in and around Sydney. According to Ms Lorigan there has been a sudden spike in incidents concerning young seals, volunteers have already responded to 62 seal occurrences, compared with 26 from the same period last year.
“Our belief is that this year’s large numbers are the result of a very successful pupping season in 2014-2015, combined with the huge storms earlier this month that really smashed the little seals around,» said Shona.
Larry explained that Elvis may choose to stay in the waters around Sydney in the short-term, before eventually heading south in October.
“He looked fantastic and alert in the water, so we can only hope he grows up to be a big, healthy seal,” he added.

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