Svavar Örn Garðarsson, a resident of small-town Búðardalur in North-West Iceland, rescued the two seal pups a month ago upon learning that the Family Park and Zoo in Reykjavík were planning on slaughtering them to feed other animals.
He constructed a special pool for them in his hometown, and both seals appear to be healthy and eating well. “The seals appear to have different personalities. One of them is very reserved and calm, while the other one is more of a pioneer,” Svavar told RÚV.
According to Svavar, he wishes to expand the seals‘ quarters to the nearby harbour. “It would be a much larger pool for them, with sea and also connected to the land.”
The seals won‘t be living in Búðardalur for the rest of their lives, however, as Svavar wishes to release them to the sea at some point in the future. Releasing animals who‘ve only lived in human captivity is considered illegal, according to animal laws. He plans on getting an exemption.
Asked whether the seals would thrive in the wild Svavar told RÚV there was no doubt in his mind. Making sure they thrive in nature is essential to help the declining seal population.