Rehabilitating seal pups – with Dr Sue Wilson

For this show I have visited Dr Sue Wilson at her home in Killyleagh on the shores of Strangford Lough, a beautiful and environmenally significant inlet in Northern Ireland. If you tune into Eco Living in Action regularly, you might remember Sue from a previous show when she visited Dunedin to see our wonderful marine mammals. We visited Allans Beach where we saw sealions and fur seals.

Sue is a marine mammalogist who has specialised in seal behaviour and their ecology, with special interest in mother pup behaviour, pup devlopment and rehabilitation of orphaned pups until they are ready to be returned to the sea. Rehabilitating pups is a significant job, requiring a lot of time, commitment, compassion and determination. Each harbour seal pup requires 6-7 weeks of care, initially involving feeding 5 times a day then 4 times plus preparation time, cuddles and cleaning. All in all this is an 8 hour per day pursuit! Sue has been rehabilitating seals on an off for nearly the last 20 years and after her current 2 pups are released she will have successfully released 22 seals back into the wild.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere Sue is working with Harbour seals, also called the Common Seal in the UK. However it is no longer so common, making Sue’s vocation all the more important. In addition, as a scientist, Sue is adding to the knowledge that we have about these species and about how we can rehabilitate seals.

In this show recorded on the 10th August 2016, I talk to Sue about what she has learned and how her knowledge might help seal and sealion species in New Zealand.

To listen to this programme about Rehailitating seal pups please click on

For more information about

This show was originally broadcast on the 18th August 2016 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Dr Sue Wilson with one of the rehabilitated seal pups

Dr Sue Wilson with one of the rehabilitated seal pups


Sue's assistant F with this years two seal pups

Sue’s assistant Fleur with this years two seal pups


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