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Meet Joe Wicks and Sir Tom, the seal pups saved after being spotted solo on a Norfolk beach

The pups were only a few days old when they were rescued

seal pups
Carla Challis
Commerce Partnerships Editor
18 June 2020
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Two premature seal pups have been rescued after members of the public spotted them on two separate Norfolk beaches – and now they've found a loving home at a sealife centre. Discovered a week apart, the pups were believed to be just a few days old when they were rescued by British Divers medics – both seals still had their umbilical cords attached. They're now calling SEALIFE Hunstanton home, and getting used to their new names – Joe Wicks and Sir Tom.

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joe wicks© SEALIFE Hunstanton

Joe Wicks the seal pup weighed just 7kg when he was rescued

Aquarist Hollie Stephenson said: "Thankfully both pups are responding very well to their rehabilitation. It was touch and go in the first few days but we are turning the corner now and they are both putting on weight and feeding well." Pupping season for Common Seals typically begins in June, and the team say they usually see a premature seal every few years - so to have two at once is unusual.

The team believe the pups were separated from mum for reasons which could include human interference or the mum not being able to find the pup after fishing for food. Unlike the Grey Seal which gives birth in the winter months, Common Seals are born ready to swim, shedding their fluffy white coat in utero. However, these two pups were born premature with their lanugo coat still intact and have required specialist care.

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sir tom© SEALIFE Hunstanton

Sir Tom the seal pup is a "gentle pup"

The team decided to name the pups after two inspirational figures from the past few months. Joe Wicks weighed just 7 kilos when he was rescued from Brancaster beach and "loves to shout for his dinner and is a big wriggler" – hence being named after fitness guru Joe. Sir Tom, named after war veteran and NHS-fundraising hero Captain Tom Moore, is said to be "gentle and loves to blow bubbles". Both seals will be cared for by a specialist animal care team, with hopes for them to be released back into the wash after treatment.

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