Nemo Johnson arrived on 8 May and a week later the boys who found and named him, Greg Tulloch and Paul Forrest, came to visit him for the first time. You can read their story on Shetland News - "Nemo Johnson the premature pup" on 18 May 2010.
Since then he has started to moult. Common seals should do this in the womb before they are born, and as he is still moulting it looks like he was born around one month early.
Here he is on 23 May after he'd just started his moult.
Here he is on 27 May...
...and here he is again on 31 May.
His main problem has been digestion because a) he's premature; b) he's not getting his mother's milk - although he is getting Multi Milk made in North America especially for marine mammals; and c) he's moulting. Normally when seals moult they go off their food and we're having to keep feeding him to make sure he keeps up a decent weight.
Along with the Multi Milk he gets rehydration fluid full of vitamins and minerals. Feeds are five times a day. Small pieces of fish will be introduced in a few weeks when his teeth will all be through and his digestive system is ready.
Feeding time isn't a pleasure for him or us either as we have to tube the food down his throat. At one point his throat got quite sore so we invested in some Aloe Vera gel, which has improved feeding time greatly. Although still not pleasant it's keeping him alive. Not the best way to start out in life, but he seems to want to stay with us...so far, so good.
"Not quite as good as mum!"
...meanwhile life at the wildlife sanctuary is beginning to get busier, especially in the gardens.
We open in the afternoon from 7 June between 2pm to 6pm, but please phone before you come on 01806 503348. Da Bod is open to sit in and relax. There will be tea and coffee and biscuits.