Monday 29th October 2001
Another beautiful morning greeted us on the beach in Rosslare Strand as we roped off the 'freedom corridor' for this unique Seal release - this was the first time that we had released a grey and a common seal together! 'Farmer Dave', the huge grey pup was only at the sanctuary for 2 weeks, recuperating from a respiratory disorder and was now fighting fit and ready to go. 'Fagan', the more timid common, was returning to the same beach that I had rescued him from some 3 months earlier. Both seals had travelled well from Dublin and our quad bike carried them both in regal style down the beach to the release site.
The crowd thickened quickly with final numbers in excess of 200 and the eager children fidgeted impatiently as we ensured that all the stray dogs were rounded up…..the farmer who discovered Dave was ready to open his box and the Local Kelly children waited patiently to release their little common. I began the countdown over the bull horn and soon both seals tentatively inched down the beach towards the water.
Dave was first to break water and quickly disappeared into the surf but Fagan swam parallel for some time, even coming back in again…he swam out a bit before he eventually made for deep water and gave us a fleeting glance before disappearing out in to the bay. The excitement reached a crescendo when the lollipop jar was produced and all the small kids(and some of the bigger ones!) jostled impatiently for their treat - a fitting end to a very successful and historic day.
Copyright 2000 by the Irish Seal Sanctuary. All rights reserved.