A rare breed of seal which is usually known for swimming in Arctic Waters has been rescued thousands of miles from home in Scottish waters.
After being spotted by British Divers Marine life in Cove Bay Harbour near Aberdeen, the ringed seal – which has since been named Hispi – was handed over to the Scottish SPCA for urgent care.
The Scottish animal welfare charity have revealed that Hispi looked ‘lethargic’ upon discovery and was then treated for abrasions on its back.
The charity said the seal pup was most likely born in the waters when its mother was searching for food.
Wildlife assistant, Sian Belcher said: “As he is so young, probably only around six to eight weeks old, we think his mum may have been searching for food and it brought her to the north of Scotland.
“It’s unlikely that she ventured south due to warmer seas caused by global warming as ringed seals need colder water, not warmer.
“She must have then given birth to this wee pup who has now found himself in our care.”
Ringed seals are much smaller than common seals, and can usually be mistaken for them, as was the case this time.
They are known for swimming in arctic waters, and only tend to swim as far south as Greenland or Norway.
For the mammal to be spotted in Scottish waters makes the ‘unusual’ discovery more of a ‘surprise’ according to the charity.
Ms Belcher added: “It seems that there have only been around 12-30 sightings of ringed seals in the UK over the last 100 years. They are one of the most widespread seals on the planet but concentrated in the arctic area.
“So, it is very unusual that he was found in the Aberdeen area.
“Hispi is now doing well, and our team are very excited to have such a rare resident. It doesn’t hurt that he’s impossibly cute.”
Hispi the ringed seal pup will continue to be cared for by the animal welfare charity, and they plan to monitor him until October.
He will then be released back into the wild as far north as possible after his stay with the Scottish SPCA.