Naamloos 10During the Weekend of Science on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 October, you will learn more about the research on seal entanglement during your visit to Sealcentre Pieterburen. Veterinarian and researcher Anna Salazar Casals published a study on the increase of entanglements last August. This weekend, she can share her findings with you in person.

The animals that get entangled end up at the Sealcentre. There, they are freed and treated. During the Weekend of Science, you can see for yourself how we do it. How does a seal guard help an entangled animal on the beach? How do you find out that a seal has swallowed a fish hook? And how do you remove it after you've found out? That's what you will learn during our various extra activities!

 

Weekend of Science
The Weekend of Science gives everyone an accessible insight into the world of science and technology. Sealcentre Pieterburen has been taking part in it for years! Our work is based on and combined with doing scientific research. During this weekend, we highlight the research we do. That way, as a visitor, you will know a little better why and how we conduct research. And, of course, what we learn from it! There are all kinds of different researchers walking around with us. During the Weekend of Science, you can also talk to them. Who knows what interesting questions and answers you might find out!

 

Activities

Tangled seal
Presentation (in English), approximately 45 minutes. Suitable for 6 years and above under supervision.

Researcher and veterinarian Anna Salazar Casals gives an interactive presentation on the treatment of entangled seals. Have you ever wondered how this is caused? Anna also explains the consequences for animals. Some are found in time and can be helped, but there are also plenty of seals for whom that does not apply. Last summer, grey seal Tefiti was at our rehabilitation centre. She had become entangled in a fishing net. Fortunately, she was able to be released after a month of rehabilitation! Anna explains what her treatment was like. Moreover, she shows how she discovered in her research that there is an increase in entanglement cases. 

 

Free the seal
Workshop (in Dutch), approximately 30 minutes. Suitable for all ages.

In this workshop, it's time to roll up your sleeves. But in a careful way. Because you are a seal guard and encounter a seal stuck in a fishing net. What do you do? Think carefully, because it is a wild animal! How can you help in a safe way, without getting bitten or causing worse injuries? During this activity, you will learn how our seal guards are trained and experience for yourself how difficult it can be to free a seal. 

 

Seal on the hook
Workshop (in Dutch), approximately 30 minutes. Suitable for all ages.

In this activity, you get to work with an endoscope like a true seal doctor yourself. Do you know why we sometimes have to remove a fish hook from a seal's stomach? This is because they sometimes swallow a fish that is still attached to a hook. Seals don't eat with knife and fork, so before you know it, the hook is in their stomach. Hooks are very sharp and can cause a lot of damage inside the seal. So it is important to remove the hook as soon as possible. Fortunately, we know exactly how to do that. And you are going to learn that too! Using a small camera, we look inside the seal to detect the fish hook. Such a small camera is called an endoscope. Once you find the hook, of course, it has to be removed. Attached to the camera is also a small gripper. You will see that it is not so easy to remove the hook with this.