Published in The Sydney Morning Herald on June 29, 2016
An 18 month old seal is back in the water less than two weeks after he was rescued by Taronga Zoo.
The long-nosed fur seal, nicknamed ‘Elvis’ for his tendency to shuffle on the soft matting at Taronga Wildlife Hospital, was released on Tuesday morning outside Sydney Headlands.
“He was a great little guy,” said Larry Vogelnest, head veterinarian at Taronga Zoo.
“When he came in he was quite feisty, which is a good sign,”
“He adapted really quickly to being in hospital and became a very friendly little animal.”
Mr Vogelnest said that Elvis was thin and malnourished when he washed up on shore after Sydney’s bout of heavy storms.
Taronga Zoo veterinary staff took him in and treated him with antibiotics, fluids and a diet of fresh fish.
After 11 days of treatment, Mr Volgelnest said that Elvis was back to normal and getting a little too comfortable with Taronga Zoo Staff.
“When we opened the little pet carrier to let him off the back of the boat, he actually didn’t want to go,” he said. “Seals can get used to people and get tame very quickly. The shorter time they spend in hospital, the better.”
Mr Volgelnest said that seals who wash up on Sydney shores are often in much worse condition than Elvis, so he was a lucky victim of rough seas.