Andy's Release - Kevin O'Hare


Kathy and the some of the gang of St. Mary's
Andy was the only Harbour Seal to be taken back to the Irish Seal Sanctuary last year because of the Phocine Distemper Virus. We had to isolate Harbour Seals for at least five weeks for signs of the virus. As the virus is too deadly and to bring back a suspect seal to the sick seals that were already in the kennels of the Irish Seal Sanctuary was too dangerous.

For his release we brought Andy to a quite spot in Sligo up by Silver Strand where there is a well known colony of Harbour Seals that are loved by the locals, and close to were he was found.

There is something about bringing a seal back to were it was first found, it's like meeting old friends, the smiles on every ones faces is enough to say it all.
Andy being the only Harbour Seal in the Sanctuary made friends with a couple of Grey Seals. In the wild they would normal stay at a distance from one another but one Grey Seal, Bruce became Andy's best friend they played together all day and would not leave each other side. The morning came when we had to break up the friendship and return them to the wild where they belong, Andy got very depressed not being able to play with his friend Bruce but we were soon on the road to Andy's home.

Seal releases aren't the same without the "long walk for freedom" and Sligo always provides us with some of the best walks! Frank and Carmel Mulreany and Kathy helped open the box for Andy. Kathy and the young people of St Mary's Secondary School of Ballisadare held a fundraiser for the Irish Seal Sanctuary. From all of us at the Irish Seal Sanctuary and the flippered ones we would like to say a big thank you!
Andy wasn't long about getting out of the box, but took his time about getting back into the water and stopped a few times around a bunch of seaweed. The pictures speak volumes more than words could ever do.
On my way home, with the help of Brian Halpin volunteer of the Irish Seal Sanctuary
I love my seaweed baths!
Now Andy like the rest of the seals released this year is back home….FREE… Sleeping under the stars….
Please helps us continue the work that we do so other's like Andy can be released back to the wild by going to our donations or shop page.
Thanks Kevin for the great shots of Andy!
Thanks to friends...