26 Nov Mtunzi is on the Mend
We are happy to report that the young Southern African Fur Seal who was admitted to the uShaka Sea World rehabilitation facility on Saturday 16th November is doing well.
He is the tiniest stranded steal we have ever cared for at uShaka Sea World. Although he only weighs 10.5kg we estimate that he is approximately 1 year old and we have named him Mtunzi; after the Scottburgh beach where he was rescued.
When Mtunzi was first spotted by the lifeguards at Amanzintoti beach on the 9th November 2019 he looked healthy and strong. Over the next 6 days, we continued to receive messages from the public who reported seeing him at various spots on the KZN south coast and were kind enough to send pictures through to the KZN Stranding Network. Unfortunately, we witnessed his condition deteriorating as he visibly lost weight with each passing day. This was not surprising as KZN is so from his home range which stretches from Namibia to Port Elizabeth. He was clearly not in any condition to travel home. The decision was made by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to rescue the young seal and admit him for rehabilitation to uShaka Sea World.
Upon admission, he was given an external examination and was found to have a small laceration on his face and, what appears to be, an old abscess on his hind flipper. As he was dehydrated, undernourished and suffering from an infection in his mouth he was immediately put on antibiotics and given hydration fluids. By Sunday afternoon he started eating and has not stopped since. He isn’t a fussy eater and enjoys almost everything we offer him including Pilchards, Hake, Maasbanker, Corvina, and Squid.
We will need to wait a little while before he is strong enough for us to conduct a full medical which will include bloods, x-rays, and an ultrasound. This will give us a clearer picture of his condition and treatment plan.