ZP Week Thirteen: The Penultimate Pinnipeds

This week has felt the quickest in a series of weeks that have felt exceptionally quick. Such is the result of coming to the end of things – I imagine next week will be even worse!

The low point was little, adorable Lapsus, in an attempt to suckle from my hand, managing to eat a chunk of my glove. This, of course, sent me into a massive panic that I had killed her. I was reassured that was unlikely, and about 36 hours later it came out the other side. Phew!

Suckling on the boot is fine though

She’s still lovely, but also seems to have started some ‘play fighting’ behaviour that could end in a nasty bite, so we’ve had to be a little more careful cleaning around her.

I got to tube feed my first grey seal – Netniet, a sweet soul with a net wound around her neck. It’s a bit of a different sensation than feeding common seals but it went okay and she still wants to be my friend. I also watched Luke pulling strings of congealed pus from her wound, which was truly disgusting. It’s looking a lot better now.

All skin and bones…

The weather has created some interesting challenges for us here in the Netherlands, as I’m sure it has across Europe. A number of frozen pipes had us filling the Jarino’s pools through the window with a massive fire hose. I had to throw buckets of warm water on the pipes outside Quarantine 11 to be able to dry the floor.

Overall working in the outside pools in the snow and wind has been unpleasant for staff and volunteers, but I’m sure you’ll all be relieved to hear the seals couldn’t care less.

Today is technically my day off, but I’m going to go and help with the feeding this evening, because I want to see seals every day now before I leave.

Also, the centre has started to advertise for volunteers again, so if I have tempted you at all, why not apply?

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2 thoughts on “ZP Week Thirteen: The Penultimate Pinnipeds

  1. Hi there, I was wondering if you could help me. I am ridiculously interested in working with seals and wildlife in general, and I’m considering this center at Pieterburen! I emailed 5 days ago but alas I have not heard anything back yet (I’m checking my email like a madwoman) But I have also seen an appeal for another center in Holland, A Seal? I presume you also looked into other seal rescues and if so, why did you choose the Pieterburen seal sanctuary?

    1. Hi Lauren, yes I’ve heard of A Seal. All the centres in this area communicate closely, share ways of working, and take seals off each other’s hands when one is too full. So I’m sure you would have an equally excellent and professional experience there! I ended up in Pieterburen just because they were advertising for volunteers when I was looking, although when I did further research there were other things I liked about the centre, such as not keeping any seals in permanent captivity. I assume A Seal Shares these principles but I don’t know for sure.

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