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.

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 … Continue reading “ZP Week Seven: Seal Dreams and Several Showers”

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, … Continue reading “ZP Week Six: Extracurricular Activities”

ZP Week Five: The Grey Girl

Ranting to all of the feeders about how desperately I love grey seals has started to have the desired effect – I am now regularly sent to Vliehors to see my favourite babies, the moulted greys. This week, one of the other volunteers called me ‘the grey girl’.

The Reluctant Release

10.30am today and I was off on my first release. It was just two seals being taken by a nurse and her extended family as a New Year’s get-together outing, plus me crashing. I’ve been reliably informed that releases are generally a ‘goodbye and thanks for all the fish’ situation, … Continue reading “The Reluctant Release”

ZP Week Four: Hand Feeding , Holding and Houdini

I’ve had a really amazing week here and feel like I’ve progressed a lot. In myself I can feel I’m more confident with the work and comfortable around the seals. I’ve also been trusted with a larger range of tasks and responsibilities (hmm, could it be connected I wonder…).

ZP Week Two: Highs and Lows

Now I’ve gotten through my first full working week here, I’m beginning to find my rhythm a little. I always think of the first week somewhere new as something of write-off as you’re always playing catch-up, learning where everything is and how everything works. The second week always seems to … Continue reading “ZP Week Two: Highs and Lows”

Joline, Joline, Joline, Joline…

Yes, she is named after Dolly’s Jolene, but you can’t expect non-native English speakers to get the spelling right all the time. The common wisdom here is that you will fall in love with the first seals you properly look after, and Pyza and Nessy from Quarantine 2 will always … Continue reading “Joline, Joline, Joline, Joline…”

ZP Week One: Quarantine Training and My First Day

Days Three and Four: Quarantine Training Two days are dedicated to training in the quarantines, and thank god. These are self contained little rooms with a small pool, a kitchen, and a plateau, all of which can be gated off. This is Fase 1, where new arrivals and the sickest … Continue reading “ZP Week One: Quarantine Training and My First Day”