'Mischievous' Seal Pup Rescued After Being Found in a Warehouse, Then in a Ditch Days Later

An animal charity has recused a "mischievous" seal pup that was found among treadmills at a gym equipment warehouse in the U.K., and then in a ditch a few days later.

Workers at the warehouse in the Welsh town of Llanelli, U.K., spotted the grey seal pup beside the treadmills on December 11. They tried to rescue him by leading him outside to a nearby river.

But days later on December 13, the pup was found in a ditch in the village of Llangennech around four miles away. A train had derailed in the area earlier in the year, and the seal is thought to have entered a chamber filled with oily water at the site before getting in the ditch.

Seal pup, rspca
The seal pup rescued by the RSPCA in Wales, among gym equipment at a warehouse. RSPCA

Workers at the site called the RSPCA animal charity, who sent an inspector to collect the pup. The seal, now named Bergamot, is being cared for by the charity until he is well enough to be released.

RSPCA inspector Leigh Summers, who rescued the seal, said in a statement: "He was so skinny, was covered in diesel, and was very [sick].

"He is a pup but has been fully weaned—but he is desperately underweight for his age. He must have been struggling for some time.

Summers said: "Thank goodness he is now in our care—after he managed to get himself into two tricky predicaments in a matter of days! After some rest, a clean up, and some tube feeds he started to get better—and I have to admit I have absolutely fallen in love with him—even after seeing so many seals this season.

She went on: "He definitely is a mischievous one—we don't know how he managed to get into the warehouse and then managed to visit the Llangennech construction site! He was absolutely exhausted after his misadventures."

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RSPCA animal rescuer Ellie West asked members of the public who find seals in unusual places not to move or chase them into water.

West said: "Many well-meaning people think they are helping lone pups by moving them into the water—but nothing could be further from the truth. They have usually headed there for a reason, and can be in desperate need of veterinary care or support."

People should also not move healthy-looking seals on beaches into the sea, as they are likely resting. Seal pups who are alone should be watched from a distance for 24 hours, and the RSPCA called if their mother does not return or they seem injured or in distress.

Hillan said seals found by the RSPCA are given identification tags on their hind flippers.

"We do get good feedback from sightings," she said. "even see some of the seals we release with their own young. The scientific results we receive back up that seals that go on from rehabilitation with us survive in the wild."