Rescued seal takes flight

A two-week-old seal has taken to the skies, after Loganair received an unusual request for an abandoned pup to be flown to Glasgow…

The young pup was rescued by local vet David Buckland on Eriskay in the Western Isles, after occupants of a house overlooking Prince’s Beach found her.

The baby seal, accompanied by the vet from the Southern Isles Veterinary Practice, flew from Benbecula to Glasgow before travelling to the SSPCA National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Alloa.

David has been taking care of the pup since the start of June by providing her with plenty of fluids, after finding her extremely malnourished and in serious need of care. It’s not known what happened to her mother. Once fit to fly, the pup was flown free of charge by Loganair to continue treatment from the team at the SSPCA centre. The rescue centre is also the new home of a young male pup rescued from the Isle of Eigg, with both seals set to receive treatment together until they are ready to be released back into the wild.

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 managing director Jonathan Hinkles says: “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.”

Scottish SPCA Centre Manager Colin Seddon adds: “Harbour seals are very vulnerable, and we will be keeping a close eye on her while she remains in our care.

“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 is no stranger to carrying unusual animals, most notably helping reintroduce Shetland ponies to Fair Isle in the 1970s. Perry and Gordon Barnes, residents of the island, wanted to reintroduce ponies as pets. They sought the assistance of the airline, which transported the miniature horses. Two Shetland ponies remain on the island to this day.