Our history

Over 50 years at the Seal Centre

Seal Centre Pieterburen has a rich history. In 2021, we celebrated our 50th anniversary! A lot has happened during this time. For example, we have succeeded in saving the seal population in the Wadden Sea, which was severely threatened for a long time. We have grown into the most advanced seal hospital in Europe, with a lot of knowledge and expertise. Today we work with seal guards along the Dutch coast. We are quite proud of that.

Meer dan 50 jaar zeehondenopvang
Lenie 't Hart met zeehonden

Lenie 't Hart

The name Lenie 't Hart is inseparably linked to Seal Centre Pieterburen. The dug-in tub in her backyard grew into the most advanced seal hospital in Europe. However, Lenie is no longer involved with the centre. We are happy to tell you more about what she has created and how she achieved it.


Can you imagine a beach full of My Little Ponies ? The MSC Zoe disaster is one of the worst cases of pollution in Dutch history. Beaches full of objects, Styrofoam, and other plastic waste. The traces of this disaster can still be seen on the coasts around the Wadden Sea. Together with a big team of volunteers, the Seal Centre started a large-scale cleaning campaign.

Opruimactie containerramp MSC Zoe
Walrus in Pieterburen

Wanderers and other special cases

There are two species of seals in the Netherlands: the common seal and the grey seal. However, these are not the only species that the Sealcentre has treated over the past 50 years. For example, walrus Snørre was rescued in 1981 and we had a harp seal in rehabilitation in 2017! Aside from these special guests, we have also experienced many special stories with common and grey seals.

Report a seal. Seen a seal in need? Call 144 (24 hours a day available) Read more.