Young seal pubs cannot catch fish themselves thus force-feeding is practiced in shelters. Photo: Svend Tougaard
Initially when seal pups are rescued they are fed a mixture of blended herring fillets, rehydration fluids, salmon oil, vitamins and antibiotics through a tube inserted, through the oesophagus, into their stomach. After two to three weeks, pups are normally healthy enough to be introduced to solids and are force-fed whole herring until they can eat by themselves. At this early stage in the rehabilitation process, seals are fed every three to four hours, including night time feeds. As soon as they are weaned, food is thrown into the water for them.