Seal having fish phobia leaves sanctuary staff shocked!

February 11th, 2009 - 6:16 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 11 (ANI): A seal rescued from Heacham beach in Norfolk has astonished its keepers at the marine sanctuary in north Norfolk after it refused to feed on fish.

Heidi, a five-week-old pup, had been found after she was separated from her mother, and she taken Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary in north Norfolk, where she was fed herring, which is the staple diet of all the rescued seals.

But for two weeks she refused to eat any and the animal care team had to resort to blending special herring smoothies for Heidi and feeding them to her by tube due to her phobia.

Its the first time we”ve ever come across a herring phobia and it’’s really quite unusual as all the seals get fed on herring, the Telegraph quoted Matthew Fuller, from the animal care team at the sanctuary, as saying.

Fuller has his own theory about Heidi, who lost her mother in bad weather and was found by the sanctuary on January 21 when she was about three weeks old and in good condition.

It is probably because it’’s quite stressful and confusing coming to the sanctuary and she was pining for her mummy, he said.

And herring really smells, he stated.

Heidi has started to show signs of interest in fish and once she is at her target weight of 55lbs she will be released back into the wild.

Her weight is OK now but she will probably be with us in the hospital for another month, and then we will put her in the main pool to learn how to socialise with the other seals, Fuller said.

She’’s quite healthy now and a lovely seal, he added.

Keiran Copeland, displays supervisor who is also helping to look after Heidi, added: We”ve never encountered a pup more difficult to get food into. Hopefully its just a phase and she”ll start taking her meals without a fuss soon. (ANI)

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