‘Miracle’ the seal has been released by the RSPCA, following six months of recovery and rehabilitation.
Last year she was found trapped amid rocks and boulders at Aberavon Pier, Port Talbot, and rescuers needed to use specialist lifting machinery to secure access. She was nicknamed ‘Miracle’ by onlookers.
“Her rescue was truly one of the most remarkable the RSPCA was involved with in 2017, amid some of the most dramatic circumstances imaginable,” says animal collection officer Ellie West.
“Boulders weighing approximately three tonnes had to be moved out of the way to free this seal back in November; and we were proud to work with a host of agencies to complete this most complex and technical of rescues.”
RSPCA Cyrmu worked with a range of other organisations to free Miracle, including Associated British Ports, Sea-Lift Diving, British Divers’ Marine Life Rescue, RNLI and Neath Port Talbot Council.
Marina about to be released © RSPCA
After her rescue, the lucky pinniped was taken to the RSPCA’s West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Taunton, Somerset, where she was renamed Marina (the centre was naming seals after classic cars).
Marina spent six months being cared for at the centre, until staff decided that she was a healthy weight and could be released into the wild again.
She was released at Combe Martin in north Devon in early May, with seven other rehabilitated seals.
Main image: Miracle the seal, a few days prior to her release. © RSPCA