The Hout Bay Seal Rescue Centre has faced a massive drop in donation support and a rise in the seals needing treatment, rescue and rehabilitation.
Hout Bay, South Africa (25 January 2021) – The Seal Rescue Centre in Hout Bay has been working non-stop to help free seals entangled in ropes, injured by pollution or other painful ailments. The ocean has been filled with litter and pollution due to the lockdown and loss of beach clean-ups which has meant more seals needing help than ever before.
The Hout Bay Seal Rescue Centre was founded in 1999 by Francois Hugo. Since his passing, volunteers have taken over and run the organisation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! They rescue injured, sick and orphaned seals.
“As part of the rehabilitation process, seals that arrive at the centre are immediately treated for dehydration and are hand-fed until they are strong enough to catch their own fish. We also have a water enclosure at the centre, where the seal pups can safely enter and learn to swim before they are fully strong and healthy and able to fend for themselves in the ocean.
Many of our rescues also require specialised medical care. The Centre has a Veterinarian on standby and our 3 full-time staff work around the clock to ensure seals are given any prescribed medication as required by the vet.
Younger seals generally stay at the centre for a one year. Seals older than one year old will stay the length of time required to heal from their injuries. These older seals are generally treated as “outpatients” and swim freely in the ocean surrounding the centre by day, by sleep on the centre’s jetties at night.
The Cape Fur Seal is a protected species in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (10/2004): Threatened or Protected Marine Species Regulations.”
They have always relied on donations to operate and have found the lockdown has led to a steep drop in their revenue. They have turned to crowdfunding to raise the funds needed to cover their monthly expenses which include:
- Veterinary medicines and bBills,
- Puppy Milk,
- 3 on-site Rescue Employees,
- Rescue equipment.
They have set up a crowdfund in the hopes of raising the funds needed to keep things running smoothly. If you would like to support them, you can donate via BackaBuddy here. You can also follow them via Facebook to stay up to date with their latest rescues.