Durban - An 18-month-old seal who had a terrible time at sea recently joined the uShaka Sea World seal family.
The South African Association for Marine Biological Research (Saambr) said uShaka Sea World was the ideal and obvious choice of a permanent home for her. They have named her Nala, after a character in the Lion King.
“She is settling into her new home and learning fast which is wonderful as it means we will be able to introduce her to the bigger seals relatively soon. She is absolutely adorable. Just being near her makes our hearts sing and then when she engages with us, well then our hearts simply burst,” said Saambr lead behaviourist.
Nala, a Cape Fur Seal, was at Bayworld in Port Elizabeth since the end of September 2018, where she was admitted twice on different occasions.
On their Facebook page, Saambr said Nala was first admitted after members of the Jeffreys Bay NSRI found her in a weakened and severely dehydrated state and transported her to Bayworld’s Rehabilitation Centre.
She responded well to the treatment and specially designed dietary programme, gaining enough strength and weight over her initial 10 weeks convalescence to be declared fit for release. On the 5th December 2018 she was flipper tagged and released at Black Rock.
“Sadly, two days later she was found lying on the beach with severe shark bite wounds. She was readmitted to Bayworld, and once again, nursed back to health. Although she has fully recovered from her ordeal at sea and appears in good health, she has an undeveloped sense of survival and is therefore un-releasable,” Saambr said.
Saambr said it would be a while before Nala made a public appearance.