Submitted by Steve on 16:05, 24th May, 2014 | 0

Friday the 23rd May was not only a joyous and wonderful day for the team at the GSPCA, but also filled with tears and hope.

Grey seal pups Trinity and Eden who were rescued in January of this year were found very close to death and if it hadn't been for the rescue and rehabilitation at the GSPCA Animal Shelter in St Andrews, Guernsey then they certainly wouldn't have made it in the wild.

Yesterday morning GSPCA staff made preparations to release the young seal pups which were rescued separately earlier this year.

Trinity was rescued near Pleinmont and and Eden on the slip to Castle Cornet, both close to death and only a couple of weeks old.

At a weight of 15kg and 18kg the seal pups should have weighed over 40kg when they were found.

After months of care, treatment and in excess of 1000kgs of fish.

Geoff George Animal Collection Officer, Yvonne Chauvel Senior Animal Care Assistant, Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager, Ally Clarke GSPCA Committee Member and professional photographer and Annie Janes Animal Care Assistant prepared the seals for transport and boxed them at the Shelter which went extremely well and easily.

Both were weighed and were 47kg and 57kg, ideal weights for release. 

Eden and Trinity were then placed in the newest GSPCA Nissan van which was purchased from the proceeds of the Itex Walk last year.Seal pups Trinity and Eden are back in the wild - Thank you to all involved with the fantastic release on Jethou with the GSPCA

The short trip was made to Albert Pier where we were greeted by the crew of the Bumblebee Boat team who were kind enough to help with the release and members of the media who had been invited along.

Island FM, BBC Guernsey, Guernsey Press and Channel Online all made the journey with the GSPCA team, seals and Bumblebee Boat team across to Jethou where the release had been planned.

The GSPCA had kept the release quiet as not to attract spectators that could have made the release difficult, but had invited a small crowd including the children from Herm School which had all been asked to ensure they watched from a safe distance.

The trip across went very quickly and as we came along side the jetty in Jethou an adult seal was spotted that has been called Dave by the residents on the Island.

Residents from Jethou helped the GSPCA team move the boxed seal pups onto the pebbled beach where Geoff George and Steve Byrne opened the doors and although Trinity a little unsure at first both quickly made their way to the water where they stayed very close together and soon started to play in the harbour and gave the onlookers a wonderful display.

Geoff George Animal Collection Officer said 'When we first rescued both seal pups we had to tube feed them every 2 to 3 hours and it was touch and go as to whether they would survive.'

'We have had some amazing donations towards their care and we would like to thank everyone that has helped us care for them.'

'It was such a great day and although it was very emotional they are now back where they belong.'

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager 'What a fantastic day, they weather was ideal and not only did we spot Dave the resident adult seal during the release but we spotted two others which we'd like to think were Jethou Bumblebee and Hanois the two seals we released last year.'

'Everyone really enjoyed themselves and the release went better than we could have planned from a quick boxing of the pups at the Shelter to the moment they splashed into the water.'

'A huge thanks to the Bumblee Boat team and of course the wonderful residents of Jethou from all at the GSPCA.'

'As the seal pups were swimming I popped up to the Herm children and gave them a talk on Eden and Trinity's story as well as about seals and they were full of questions.'

'The residents of Jethou were so kind, they made the children and ourselves a hot drink and had plenty of cake while we monitored the pups to ensure they settled into their new home.'

'As part of our Redevelopment Plan we would love to make a larger pool for the seals, put in a better pump and tile the seal room and if anyone would like to donate or help raise funds for this then you can donate online, call us on 257261, by post or pop in when you are passing.'

'Thank you again to everyone involved and we hope to hear from those around Herm and Jethou that the pups are popping back and forth to say hello.'

To see pictures of the release please click here.

To see some media stories on the seal release you can go to the following -

Guernsey Press

Channel Online

Island FM

BBC Guernsey

The grey seal (Halichoerus grypus, meaning "hooked-nosed sea pig") is found on both shores of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is a large seal of the family Phocidae or "true seals". It is the only species classified in the genus Halichoerus. Its name is spelled gray seal in the US; it is also known as Atlantic grey seal and the horsehead seal

Grey seal adults may be up to 2.5 metres in length and weigh up to 250kg, with males tending to be larger than females.

Trinity was 17kg on entry and Eden 13kg which was more than half the 40kg they should have been for their age.Seal pups Trinity and Eden are back in the wild - Thank you to all involved with the fantastic release on Jethou with the GSPCA Bumblebee Boat Cruise

Male grey seals reach sexual maturity at 6 years, Females at 3 to 5 years and the latter give birth to their pups in the Autumn and early Winter.

Typically the first British pups are born off the Scillies and Cornwall in August and September and the time of pupping is progressively later as you move clockwise around the British Isles, the latest pups being born off the east coast of Scotland in late December.

Trinity is likely to have been born mid December and Eden two or three weeks later.

At, birth, grey seal pups weigh about 13 kg. and are covered in long, creamy white hair. A bond is formed between mother and pup at birth, and a mother can recognise her pup from its call and smell. For the first 3 weeks of their lives, pups rarely swim, suckling from their mothers 5 to 6 times a day, for up to 10 minutes at a time. The mothers milk is rich in fat and the pups rapidly put on weight.

Both Eden and Trinity were just about three weeks when they were brought into the GSPCA.

The mother tends to remain just offshore between suckling bouts and rarely feeds, losing up to a quarter of her body weight before her pup is weaned.

Grey seal pups are weaned after losing their baby coat at 3 to 4 weeks of age. At this point, they weigh 40 to 50 kg; three times their birth weight.

If anyone see's a pup with or without a mum we really do appreciate a call so that we are aware of its location and condition but here is some advice.

A healthy pup looks like a big, stuffed maggot without a neck. However, a thin pup looks sleek (but not bony) and has a visible neck, like a healthy dog.

PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THE SEAL. They can give a nasty bite, which will become infected by bacteria that live in a seal’s mouths.

Note: Do not allow dogs or other animals to harass a seal.

If a Seal is scared back into the water, it could then be washed out to sea by strong currents and be lost. You should not put a seal pup back in the sea as it may get into difficulty.

If a Seal pup is sick, thin or injured then we would ask you to contact the GSPCA immediately on 01481 257261 day or night

When reporting an injured, sick or abandoned seal to the GSPCA, please make sure you are able to supply the following information:

  • Exact location; nearest town / village
  • Position on the beach, and state of the tide
  • How long you have observed the pup; any disturbance / risk to it; whether the mother has been seen
  • Any wounds / obvious signs of illness
  • Length/colour/condition.

Caution:- Handling of any animal either domestic, wild, dead or alive may be potentially hazardous. Obvious dangers include bites, scratches and general hygiene issues. Common sense should be applied in all instances and, if unsure, seek additional advice or assistance. Personal hygiene should be taken into consideration after handling any animal, whether it’s domestic, wild, dead or alive.

To see some of the previous stories follow the links below

Seal Rescue to Save Jethou Bumblebee 25th November 2012

Hanois the grey seal pup rescued on Saturday by GSPCA staff 7th January 2013

Jethou Bumblebee & Hanois the rescued grey seal pups back in the wild 18th April 2013

The Rescue of Trinity the Seal Pup 9th January 2014

Second seal pup rescued in 24 hours 10th January 2014

Rossborough dress down days help refurbish shelter’s seal pup facility 24th January 2014

We have lots of animals in need of homes. Could you help us advertise them? To download a the posters please click here. or to share them on social media please click here.

To download a poster to advertise the Hedgehog Competition please click here.

To download a poster to advertise the Hedgehog Awareness Poster Competition please click here.

Create a GSPCA Awareness Poster for Hedgehogs

Age groups –

4 – 7 years old (infants)

7 – 11 years old (juniors)

Some ideas could include:

Watch out for hedgehogs on the road waking up from hibernation

Hedgehogs out in the day time could mean there is something wrong

Please put out clean drinking water for hedgehogs over the summer

Check for hedgehogs before cutting the lawn/grass

Discard of rubbish properly - especially netting/wires

Make sure your swimming pool/pond is easily escapable

Do not put slug pellets down as they are poisonous

Don't touch a nest until sure you need to intervene

Cut holes in fence bottoms to allow hedgehogs to pass through gardens

Watch your dogs around hedgehogs- either one could get hurt

Other points to add:

Phone GSPCA for advice/emergency: 01481 257261

Advice on the GSPCA Webpage-


Prizes for the top 3 in each age group.

Send your posters with your name, age, contact number and school on the back to [email protected] or to the Shelter at

Guernsey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Rue du Truchots
St Andrews
Guernsey, Channel Islands

Closing date 6/6/14. Winners will be announced on the 13/6/14

Build a Hedgehog House

2014 Competition

Design and build a hedgehog house to be used in your own or friends garden!

There are two age group categories:

7 to 11 years (Junior age)

11 to 16 years (secondary age)

The top three from each group will be contacted to be judged and there are PRIZES for the top 3 designs in each group!

The house structure must be:


- Big enough to make a nest

- Safe from predators

- Camouflaged

What could you use to build the house?

 - Logs                          

- Old plastic box

- Bricks

- Wood

- Pots

- Anything else - Be as creative as you like!

Try the internet and our website for more inspiration!

Last thing to do is take a beautiful photograph then email it to us along with your age, full name and contact number to:

[email protected]

Closing date 6/6/14. Winners will be announced on the 13/6/14

Good luck and have fun!

Please be careful when building your hog houses

 Work with an adult to put it together as you may need to use grown-up tools

We currently have two stunning cats called Trio and Trouble needing operations. To donate to help them please click on this link, call 01481 257261, by post or popping into the Shelter.

Donate with JustGiving and PayPal

GSPCA, Rue des Truchots, St Andrews, Guernsey, GY6 8UD

To find out about our Events, how to become a Member, Sponsor an Animal Pen, our Wish List, Corporate Sponsorship & Volunteering, , our New Build & Redevelopment Appeal and much more please click here.

To find out about GSPCA training and courses at the Shelter please click here.

There are many ways to support the work of the GSPCA and you can even donate online by clicking the paypal link below.

Donate with JustGiving and PayPal

Have you liked us on facebook yet or joined us on twitter?

Like GSPCA Guenrsey Animal Shelter on facebookFollow the GSPCA Animal Shelter in Guernsey on twitter


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