Lost baby seal pup thousands of miles from Arctic home makes rare UK visit

A rare Arctic sea pup has been taken to a safe sanctuary after being found thousands of miles away from his home on the UK coast.

Hispi, a male ringed seal, is believed to be no more than two months old. He was first spotted swimming off Cove Bay Harbour near Aberdeen, Scotland on August 27 by a set of marine life divers.

A successful rescue operation began after it was noticed the young sea mammal, thought at first to be a native common seal, was alone without his mother nearby. It was also reported that Hispi was also lethargic, and covered in scrapes and scratches.

His Arctic identity was discovered when he was taken to the SSPCA’s (the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Alloa.

Wildlife assistant Sian Belcher told the Daily Record : “We were very surprised to have a ringed seal arrive in our care as they are found in Arctic waters and can venture as far south as ­Greenland or Norway.

“It’s very unusual that he was found in the Aberdeen area. As he is so young, ­probably only around six to eight weeks old, we think his mum may have been searching for food and it brought her to the north of Scotland.

“She must have then given birth to this wee pup who has now found himself in our care."

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Ringed seals enjoy a rich diet of fish and crustaceans, although their consumption habits can change considerably according to seasonal changes in prey.

Suggestions that the unusual migratory pattern could be the result of climate change were doubted by Ms Belcher, who said: “It’s unlikely that she ventured south due to warmer seas caused by global warming as ringed seals need colder water, not warmer."

Hispi will likely stay with the animal charity into next month, before being taken further north to find his way back to his natural habitat.

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