Review: Seal Care Volunteer in the Netherlands

I spent 3 and a half months from December 2017 to March 2018 volunteering on the Seal Care Team at Zeehondencentrum Pieterburen, a rehabilitation centre in the Netherlands. If you want to know more you can read my weekly posts, or get in touch.

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ZP Week Fourteen: Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish!

My fourteenth and final week is now over, and I write this on the train to the airport. I’ll try to save my overall thoughts for a later review post and focus on what’s happened over the past seven days, because it’s never too late to have new experiences.

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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!

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ZP Week Eleven: A Seal Centre Update

The highlight of this week was getting to ‘jump’ three grey seals when they needed to be chipped. James Bond, Blinky and Bular have now all been moved to Bi-Bu, and I didn’t make a total idiot of myself catching them. Success all round!

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ZP Week Nine: Who’s Who in Jarino’s

I’ve spent the vast majority of the past week in the Jarino’s units, so I thought I’d give you a rundown of the current residents.

Shark eating

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ZP Week Eight: Fatalities and Failed Feedings

After saying in my last blog that I hadn’t seen the pox seal or the one with the neck wound (Draal) that was how I started my week. Lucifer is the one with pox and despite the name is incredibly cute and sweet.

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ZP Week Seven: Seal Dreams and Several Showers

I had my first ‘seal dream’ last night – I was wandering around the visitor centre on my day off and when I looked into Bi-Bu and saw that there were at least 20 new tiny white grey seal pups. My reaction was a mixture of ‘omg so cute’ and horror at how much work feeding them and looking after them as they grew would be.

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ZP Week Six: Extracurricular Activities

While the work in seal care is always interesting and every day remains different with these charismatic animals, as time goes on there are of course fewer new experiences. Now I feel really settled. Two waves of new volunteers have arrived since I did and lots of people are leaving, so I am no longer truly new myself (although of course I am to those who have been here for years).

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