Submitted by Steve on 14:35, 10th Jul, 2020 | 0

Today a magical moment took place as Andrew the Jersey grey seal pup and Pebbles the Guernsey grey seal pup were returned back to the wild.

Andrew who was a tiny white coat when found in Jersey and rescued by the JSPCA and British Divers Marine Mammal Medics in November 2018 was one of the youngest and smallest pups ever to come into our care at the GSPCA. Last year Andrews progress was incredibly slow and we really worried if he would ever be fit and well enough to be released to the wild and due to his slow progress he is the longest ever seal resident to be in our care.

The main help in Andrews progress was Pebbles the seal pup. Pebbles was rescued in February of this year on the Shingle Bank at around a week old and like Andrews extremely emaciated and unwell with no mother in site.

Both required weeks of intensive around the clock care before they could progress on to fish soup and then on to whole fish.

Pebbles and Andrew were bubbled together back in May as many of us bubbled with family or friends and they quickly became best of friends.

Today thanks to the Mr and Mrs Ogden we were allowed to transport both pups over to Jethou for a very special release.

Andrew wasn’t quite sure about being boxed for travel and took much longer than Pebbles who went straight in before being transported by GSPCA team members Geoff George, Steve Byrne, Neil Hughes and Emma Butcher.

Andrew at 66kg and Pebbles at 61kg had both more than quadrupled their arrival weight.

The GSPCA staff and seals met the Jethou Flyer and Dan Meinke and the Island Rib Voyage team at Albert Pier just after 10am where they were loaded and transported over to Jethou.

The pups travelled extremely well and at around 11am the doors were opened on the slipway on Jethou and both seal pups made their way into the crystal clear waters.

Geoff George GSPCA Head of Marine Mammals said “It was amazing to see Andrew and Pebbles being released today.”

“Andrew has been with us for over 18 months and is the longest we have ever had a seal in our care.”

“Both pups needed around the clock care when they were rescued and to see them back in the wild is why we do what we do.”

“Andrew is without doubt the fittest an fastest seal we have ever had and both are extremely close.”

“They really showed off in front of us when they were released and we will all miss them very much.”

Neil Hughes GSPCA team member said “It was fantastic to see the seal pups being released, especially as I was one of the team that went out and rescued Pebbles in February.”

Emma Butcher GSPCA team member said “I work with Geoff on the wildlife unit and it has been so great to see how they have grown.”

“It was amazing to see them being released back into the wild.”

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said “Since 2011 we have rescued, rehabilitated and released 12 grey seal pups locally and 2 back into Jersey waters.”

“The amount of work that goes into getting seal pups back into the wild is incredible and we couldn’t do it without the support and donations from the public.”

“This year has been incredibly difficult due to Covid-19 and we still have our appeal to help ensure we can care for animals like Andrew and Pebbles.”

“With running costs of £2000 a day raising the funds to keep the Shelter going is a daily challenge and without kind supporters we could not carry out our around the clock work.”

“During the lock down we launched our #GSPCACoronavirusCrisisAppeal .”

“We have had some amazing donations towards this much needed appeal and if you would like to donate you can do so by calling 01481 257261, by post or online via our web page .”

“Another great way to supporting is by donating each month and to find out details please visit this web page .”

“Without your support the GSPCA couldn’t achieve so much caring and helping over 3000 animals every year.”

“Even though we are in Phase 5 these are still truly incredible difficult days for the GSPCA, as it is for many charities.”

“I cannot say how special and magical today has been releasing Andrew and Pebbles back into the wild.”

“It is very sad that we couldn’t get Andrew back into Jersey waters, but with him being so close to Pebbles they will certainly help each other settle back into the wild.”

“Seal pup season can start as early as August with common seals and if anyone spots a seal pup please don’t approach us but call us immediately for advice.”

“With no seal pups now in our care we can give the pools a good clean although they are already needed for a gannet rescued from Jethou.”

“A huge thanks to Mr and Mrs Ogden, their team from Jethou and Dan and the Island Rib Voyage team for once again helping with transport for one of our main highlights of 2020.”

“Also a huge thanks to all that donated and helped with fish for the seals, it has cost thousands to care for them and without kind support we really couldn’t do so much.”

“Those living on Jethou are going to keep an eye out for them both and we hope to hear updates of how they are doing as previous seals have been known to stay very much in the area.”

Donations by post please make cheques payable to 'GSPCA’ and post to GSPCA, Rue des Truchots, St Andrews, Guernsey, GY6 8UD.

For lots of ways of getting involved and supporting the GSPCA please visit -

To visit the Island Rib Voyage page please o to

In line with States of Guernsey advice please DO NOT visit the GSPCA if have been outside of the Bailiwick of Guernsey in the last two weeks or have any symptoms of Coronavirus and we continue visits to the Shelter for only essential reasons and to please call us on 01481 257261 or email [email protected] before your trip to see if we can help without you coming to the Shelter. For the latest information and advice please visit 

The GSPCA continues with all essential services and we plane to phase other services back into operation and to find out more please visit -

With huge challenges on our resources and a drop in income from boarding and donations please help us help animals in Guernsey with our #GSPCACoronavirusCrisisAppeal by donating online via -

During these difficult times help us help animals in need. From donating to Sponsoring a Pen, Buying a Brick for the much needed Wildlife Hospital to our Amazon and main page Wish List, holding a mufti day to a sponsored Christmas dip, here are some of the ways you could help give animals joy.

For lots more ideas on how you can support the shelter and the animals in our care then please visit our fundraising page

To see a list of our volunteer induction evenings which we hold each month and for more information please visit or call 257261

To find out more on trips, talks and our education work please email [email protected] or call 01481 257261



Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options