1. ITV Report

An orphaned seal pup, named after Game of Thrones character Jon Snow, returns to the wild

An orphaned seal pup rescued from a Llandudno beach in September has been returned to the wild after a spell in RSPCA rehabilitation.

Jon Snow - whose name was inspired by the Game of Thrones character - was weak and lethargic when he was rescued on 30 September on Penrhyn Beach after he was seen alone and without his mother for at least three days.

Jon Snow was just 10 days old when he was first rescued. Credit: RSPCA

The pup was only 10 days old when rescued by the RSPCA inspector and was taken to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, in Nantwich, Cheshire, where he was given his nickname.

As he started to lose his pup fur and his teeth started to grow, Jon was moved into a pool with fellow seal Jamie, so he could socialise and get used to being in water.

On Tuesday, Jon returned to the sea for the first time since he was just days old. Wildlife assistants from Stapeley Grange travelled to Colwyn Bay to release Jon and two other orphaned seals - Jamie, and another called Ned.

Jon was released back into the wild with two other orphaned seals. Credit: RSPCA

We went to the promenade in Colwyn Bay, where we found a suitable spot for them to be returned to the sea.

Jon and Jamie were super speedy, I’ve never seen seals move so fast - they couldn't wait to get into the sea. Ned was more reluctant but was soon to follow.

Once they were past their first challenge of getting past the breaking waves we could see them loving their new life in the wild.

We even saw one eating something it had caught after only a couple of minutes in the water.

– Michelle Bite, Wildlife Assistant

Jon Snow is one of a number of seals rescued in North Wales, many of whom have adopted Game of Thrones-inspired nicknames, such as Theon and Hodor.

Releasing seals back into the wild is always a lovely moment to witness.

The team at Stapeley spend many months working with getting the seals back to strength.

Rehabilitating a seal is an expensive and long process but it is definitely worth it, especially that heartwarming moment when they are returned back to the wild.

– Lee Stewart, Manager at Stapeley Grange