70 years of helping people to care for our ocean

Antarctic fur seal, Neptune admitted to rehab

By: Ann Kunz

On the 4th of May 2021, we were contacted by Andreas Mathios, from Marshall Security who spotted a subantarctic fur seal at La Mercy beach. The KZN Marine Stranding Network was alerted and assessed the seal’s condition. The uShaka SeaWorld team, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the Stranding Network decided to bring the seal in for evaluation and rehabilitation. Upon his arrival, around 16:00, our resident veterinarian, Dr Francois Lampen examined the seal. He was lethargic and emaciated and there were a few superficial wounds noted on this body. He was left to rest for the afternoon. Our new visitor from the southern oceans and subantarctic islands was named Neptune, after the Roman god of the sea.

The following day after a good rest in Sea World’s rehabilitation centre, Neptune was treated with antibiotics and supportive fluid therapy. Blood samples were taken to further assess his condition. The seal team are working on teaching him how to feed so that he can gain back a healthy weight.

We currently do not know his age, but he appears to be a young male adult seal. We are in consultation with seal specialist, Dr Greg Hofmeyr, from Bayworld who will guide us through his rehabilitation process.

Dobby the elephant seal is curiously gazing at his new neighbour, Neptune.

We will continue to keep you updated on Neptune’s progress.