The seals in phase 1 are the most recent arrivals to the Sealcentre. In these small enclosures, the seals can rest and regain some strength. A team of nurses comes by four times a day to feed them and give the animals regular check-ups.


WHY ARE THERE WHITE COVERALLS IN THE PHASE 1 ENCLOSURES?

In these enclosures, strict protocols apply that are meant to prevent the transmission of diseases. To this end, nurses have to wear protective gear such as the coveralls and boots to protect the seals and themselves. When nurses leave the enclosures, they remove the coveralls and boots and leave them there. Each enclosure has their own set of coveralls and boots.

Controle van een zeehondenpup in fase 1 van de zeehondenopvang in Zeehondencentrum Pieterburen

WHY ARE SOME SEALS NOT ALLOWED TO SWIM?

Some seals in these enclosures are very weak and need to preserve their energy to recover. At first, the nurses will let them get used to swimming by letting them go into the water under their supervision. The swimming periods are short at first but increase little by little each time. Seals can stay on dry land for an extended period of time – in contrast to dolphins, which have to be kept wet at all times.

 

WHAT DO THE SEALS HERE EAT?

For the first week or so, the seals are fed a fish porridge. This is then bit by bit replaced with solid food. That way, the nurses can let the seals get used to eating herring.

 

WHEN CAN THEY GO TO A PHASE 2 POOL?

In general, the animals can go to phase 2 when they no longer need the fish porridge and are capable of eating herring. They must also be strong enough to swim by themselves. If they are getting medication, it should be reduced a little before they move on to phase 2.