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Seals rescued during winter storms released today

Two seals will be released today Credit: ITV Wesst Country/Seth Conway

Two seals rescued by West Hatch Wildlife Centre are being released at Combe Martin today.

These are the last two seals to be released back into the wild. They have spent several months recuperating after being rescued during the winter storms. The seals were released at 10am, just before high tide.

West Hatch Wildlife Centre release seals rescued after storms Credit: ITV Wesst Country/Seth Conway

West Hatch Wildlife Centre release more seals

This seal was released back into the wild in February Credit: ITV News West Country

Two seals who have been recuperating at the West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Taunton after being washed up in the winter storms will be released today.

A large number of seals have been treated at wildlife centres across the south west after the bad weather - and most have now been returned to the wild.

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  1. David Woodland

Wildlife centre marks 50th anniversary

They've been caring for animals for 50 years and today the West Hatch Wildlife Rescue Centre in Taunton marked the anniversary with a special celebration.

The facility cares for and rehomes injured pets and wild animals. The centre took in and cleaned up hundreds of birds after they were found covered in oil earlier this year.

Dr Brian May praises RSPCA staff in Taunton

Dr Brian May on his trip to West Hatch Credit: ITV News West Country

Queen guitarist Brian May has praised the team cleaning sea birds found covered in a sticky sustance on beaches in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.

He's been visiting the RSPCA's West Hatch Centre near Taunton. Dr May is the organisation's vice president. He also joined a rally protesting against the forthcoming badger cull.

RSPCA calls for investigation into pollution

The RSPCA are calling for an investigation after pollution harmed hundreds of seabirds for the second time in two months. More than 170 birds, most of them guillemots, were treated at the charity's West Hatch wildlife centre in Taunton after they were washed up covered in a sticky substance.

They were found as far west as Mevagissey and round to Plymouth, Looe and Whitsand Bay. Many more birds were found dead on the beaches. Experts from Plymouth University have confirmed the chemical as polyisobutene (PIB), the same substance affecting birds in February.

It was bad enough seeing so many birds come to us in such a terrible state last time but for it to happen again and so soon is devastating.

It is a huge concern to learn that it is the same substance coating these birds. It makes you wonder whether it could keep on happening unless a serious effort is made to look into where these spills are coming from and how they can be stopped.

A proper investigation is needed to stop this happening again and again, or else our wildlife are likely to go on suffering and dying.

– Peter Venn, Manager, RSPCA West Hatch

Anyone who finds a bird covered in the chemical should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 and should not try to touch the birds or catch them.

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