Submitted by Steve on 17:20, 12th Mar, 2017 | 0

Sami a grey seal pup was rescued on a beach in Jersey just after Christmas starving and unwell and the GSPCA are hugely grateful to SandpiperCI who are kindly helping with her care.

If Sami hadn’t have been rescued by the JSPCA and BDMLR volunteers she would have certainly perished.

Nearly three months on from her rescue we the team at the GSPCA can’t believe how much she has grown and how great her appetite now is after her near death experience.

Sami is now eating between 20 to 30 mackerel and herring a day and we have been appealing for support towards her care.

It has been fantastic that we have been able to work across the Channel Islands to help rescue and care for Sami and we now have the largest Channel Island company helping towards her rehabilitation and feed.

SandpiperCI is the largest company in the Channel Islands brings UK High Street Brands to the islands.

As Sami is now eating between 600 and 1000 mackerel and herring a month as well as her veterinary care, cleaning the intensive care room for seals and extra vitamins every penny helps make a real difference to her rehabilitation.

Although the team are extremely pleased with her progress at the GSPCA she is some months off being strong enough and of a healthy weight to be released back to the wild.

We are hoping next week Sami can take the next exciting step of her rehabilitation as she will hopefully be introduced to one of our rehabilitation pools and we look forward updating you on her progress next week.

Geoff George Animal Collection Officer and main carer of marine mammals at the GSPCA said “Sami is eating extremely well in fact around 20 to 30 whole fish a day and putting on weight well.”

“With her condition improving daily we are nearly ready to introduce her to our rehabilitation pool and next Thursday will hopefully be the big day.”

“She is still months off being ready for release but we are doing everything we can to get her ready for that big day here in the Channel Islands where she belongs.”

“We are so grateful to all that have donated to her care and we are extremely grateful to SandpiperCI who have recently made a wonderful donation to help Sami the seal pup and the many animals at the GSPCA.”

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said “It is amazing to see how well Sami has improved from the very weak and near death seal pup she was back in December.”

“We couldn’t care for animals like Sami without the kind support of individuals and businesses and we are over joyed that SandpiperCI the largest Channel Island company is helping support Sami the seal pup and the other animals at the GSPCA.”

“It was wonderful when SandpiperCI recently contacted us and said they would like to donate £2000 towards our work at the GSPCA as with Sami eating nearly 1000 fish a month this will make a massive help with her rehabilitation and care.”

“It is wonderful that not only has Sami’s rescue and care been a real Channel Island collaboration of charities working together it is so wonderful that pan island companies are helping this Channel Island seal pup get back to the wild.”

“We are very excited that Sami will hopefully be taking her first dip next week as long as she carries on making improvements as she has been doing.”

“Thankfully it is extremely late in the grey seal pup season so it is unlikely that we will have other young seals but we are at the end of the phone 24/7 for advice and have a web page full of information if you spot one in need.”

“It costs around £5 a meal for Sami and if anyone would like to donate to her care or sponsor the wildlife unit monthly please call us on 257261, pop in or via the links on our website.”

"Thank you to all that have already helped towards Sami and her care it is really appreciated and especially to SandpiperCI.”

“We will of course keep all up to date on Sami’s care and progress at the GSPCA."

To donate towards Sami’s care through paypal and the other animals please visit -

Click here to donate to the GSPCA

You can donate by calling 01481 257261 or at the Shelter – GSPCA, Rue des Truchots, St Andrews, Guernsey, GY6 8UD

To visit the SandpiperCI website please go to - 

For advice if you find sick or injured wildlife -

To become a sponsor and help feed Sami -

Some facts about Grey Seals -

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.

Previous seal pups rescued Jethou Bumblebee was 17kg on entry and Hanois 20kg, Eden 18kg and Trinity 15kg which was less than half the 40kg they should have been for their age with Bonnie only 14kg.

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.

All seal pups rescued locally were born early November to late December.

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.

The seal pups rescued have all been around two to 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.

The pups live off these fat reserves whilst learning to feed, which may take several weeks.

The adult females which are called cows become fertile soon after weaning their pups, mating with the adult males which are called bulls, who hold territories during the breeding season and may mate with over half a dozen cows.

Mating can take place on land or in water and pregnancy last for 11.5 months, there being a period of 3.5 months when the fertilised embryo does not attached to the wall of the uterus and its development is arrested ("delayed implantation"). As a result, pups are born at the same time each year. Grey seals moult annually in the spring, 3 to 5 months, after the end of the breeding season. In the wild, males may live for about 25 years, females for about 35 years.

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.

To donate to the many animals in our care please visit

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The GSPCA are very proud to announce that we have been awarded the Guernsey Community Foundation Charity of the Year.

There are so many amazing organisations, groups and individuals and to recognise these there are a number of upcoming awards. Could you nominate the GSPCA, one of our team or another worthy individual or cause? Please visit the links below

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TURTLE APPEAL - Help fly Olivia the loggerhead turtle from Guernsey to Gran Canaria



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