The four rescued New Zealand Fur Seal pups which spent several months recovering at Sea World after stranding themselves on Gold Coast beaches have been released into Southern NSW waters.
The pups were flown from the Gold Coast to NSW via the Royal Australian Air Force, who combined their routine flying operations to assist with the release of the rescued seals.
The pups were then transported via vessel to Montague Island.
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Sea World Director of Marine Sciences, Trevor Long said the seals spent 16 weeks rehabilitating at Sea World and the release was a rewarding outcome for the team.
“Throughout the rescue and rehabilitation operation, the welfare and wellbeing of the seals was the team’s highest priority and we are incredibly proud to have been able to reach a stage where we could release them to Montague Island,” he said.
“The rehabilitation efforts consisted of antibiotics, fluids and a nutritional program to get their weight up as they were all severely underweight when they first arrived. The team has done an excellent job to ensure the seals were healthy and in the best condition for their release.
“Before the release we placed tracking devices on two of the seals to allow us to monitor their movements and identify how well they assimilate to the colony which will be crucial to assess the viability of these rehabilitation programs for future events.
In consultation with the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Services, Sea World said Montague Island was determined as the best release location site for the young seals as it has a thriving seal colony.