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“Impossibly cute” Ringed Seal rescued thousands of miles from Arctic home

A Ringed Seal usually only found in Arctic waters has been rescued from a harbour in Aberdeen.

The male seal was saved by the Scottish SPCA.

It was lethargic and had cuts on its back.


Ringed Seals are often mistaken for a common seal pup.

It’s thought its mother may have travelled south in search of food.

The SPCA will look after the seal – nicknamed Hispi from its Latin name Pusa Hispida – until October.

He will then need to be taken as far north as possible to be released back into the wild.

Scottish SPCA wildlife assistant Sian Belcher said:

“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 so 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.

“It’s unlikely that she ventured south due to warmer seas caused by global warming as ringed seals need colder water, not warmer.

“It seems that there have only been around 12-30 sightings of ringed seals in the UK over the last 100 years.

They are one of the most widespread seals on the planet but concentrated in the Arctic area.”

Ms Belcher said:

“Hispi is doing well, and our team are very excited to have such a rare resident.

“It doesn’t hurt that he’s impossibly cute.

“He will most likely stay with us in to October and then we will need to get as far north as we possibly can to release him so he can find his way back home.”



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