Motherless Seal Saved in East Iceland Skip to content

Motherless Seal Saved in East Iceland

A motherless grey seal pup crawled ashore by a bait shed in Breiddalsvík in east Iceland last week. Fishermen heard its cries and did their best to nurse it and bring it to a safe place. The seal pup, which was named Golli, is now being cared for in the Museum of Natural History in the Westman Islands.


Seals at the Reykjavík Zoo and Family Park. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

“We were opening the door when we heard some strange sounds. Then we saw the pup which had somehow managed to crawl out of the harbor and up the stone wall and had reached the road where it was screaming loudly, the poor thing,” described fisherman Sigthór Steindórsson, to

“I might have shot it had it been an adult seal but in the case of such a helpless creature you just don’t do that,” Steindórsson said. The seal pup is believed to be three to four weeks old and too young to manage on its own in the ocean.

The fishermen gave the pup a warm bath and fed it with cream. The next day it was put into a dog cage and driven to Egilsstadir. From there it was flown to Reykjavík and onwards to the Westman Islands where it will be nursed until it can be released into the ocean.

“It is doing alright, the poor thing, but is reluctant to eat and it is difficult to force feed it because it is as strong as an ox,” Georg Skaeringsson, an employee of the Museum of Natural History in the Westman Islands and Golli’s caretaker, told Fréttabladid.

Mashed fish, mixed with cream, eggs and cod liver oil is put into a syringe but Skaeringsson said it’s tricky to get it into the pup’s mouth. “It yawned before and then I could spray half a syringe into its mouth but otherwise it doesn’t want the fodder. But there’s no other option than to keep trying.”

Skaeringsson said Golli cried a lot after it first arrived but now it has calmed down. “I can scratch it now and pet it and I can see a lot of difference in it but I just wish it would eat.”

Click here to watch a video of the seal pup.

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