Two baby seals rescued; taken in by Belgian marine park

A marine park on the Belgian coast rescued two baby seals this week, the first of dozens expected in a season lasting from July to December.

The first seal was spotted by beach-goers in Blankenberge on Monday (July 20) while the second one was found further down the coast in Koksijde on Wednesday (July 22).

Dozens of baby seals get stranded on Belgian beaches each year. The marine park Sea Life Blankenberge rescues them and provides shelter, medication and care for the young seals separated from their mother.

Sea Life staff estimated the two seals to be four weeks old. The first one weighed nine kilos and the second 11 kilos. They will be returned to the sea once they weigh 35 to 40 kilos, Sea Life staff said.

The seal rescued on Monday had light wounds on its flippers and mouth likely to have been caused by seagulls, a Sea Life staff member said, adding that if the seals were not rescued, they most likely would not have survived.

The baby seals will be moved to the exterior pup pool once they are stronger, where they normally stay between three to six months before being released in the sea.

Adults and children visiting the marine park enjoyed watching the pups.

Sea Life has rescued 269 seals since first launching their rescue program 12 years ago, staff said.