SealAlert-SA sasealion@wam.co.za
Sunday, March 5, 2006 11:24 AM

Subject: Partners - Cape Fur Seals

Dear Partners in Cape Fur Seals Future

Thank you for each one of your kind and inspirational emails of well wishing - it is most appreciated. However, when I announced my own birthday is some emails back, its purpose although very kind of you, was not to obtain well wishers. It simply dawned on me, how short our time is on this earth, and like the old bull (pictured below), nearing his end, where his only means of continued surviving in his old age, is to scavenge close to the sea-bottom, causing his chin to be rubbed right down to the bone. Yet, in his death, will come life, such is the ways of wildlife, but for us, who only take, ours should therefore ensure that we "give back", for all our life-time of taking.

Today I turned a sexy 43, and I honestly feel thanks to you all, Healthy, Wealthy and Rich - in Seals. I believe I have some years yet in me, to continue "playing" Seal-Man for many years to come. Enough, to perfect "group baby pup seal rehabilitation" and maintain a "Rescue-A-Seal-A-Day" everyday initiative, re-introduce them back to historic, extinct Seal Breeding Islands, and thereafter tie-up "protection" legislation - to ensure "their" future under the African sun at the tip of Africa, with a lot of help, from you all of course.

So Seal Partners, this brings me to the question of funds. The cornerstone of our success and these seals future, lies I am certain, in the rescue of a seal a day. For this, a daily amount of $500 is needed for their response, rescue, rehabilitation and greater awareness of their plight. Seal Alert-SA therefore needs just 365 partners/groups of partners per year - and we will save this species. It is my belief, that once you have "invested" in the "Seal-A-Day" program, either singularly, or in a group, or an equivalent amount, or something that you can afford, or in actively promoting this worthy cause, whether in money or kind or furtherment - YOU, immediately become the Cape Fur Seals - Partners for Life, and may I add good friends as well.

Which means, quite simply, financially speaking, you need to do no more! I ask only if possible, if you are happy with "your" investment in Seal Alert-SA, in the months to come, that you just consider, re-investing an amount of $500 - once - a year. (divided monthly if need be). Seal Alert-SA for its part, will continually strive to ensure its active participation of its required 365 partners are maintained. I therefore would like to make it clear, that although we will for time to time make appeals for "funding", as an already established partner, these appeals are not directed at you. Your "once-off" donation/investment, is your life-time, "membership" with the Seals and Seal Alert-SA. All I ask in return, either as active or silent partners, that you network, and further the cause of this specie, of seal, from whatever corner of the world, you happen to be in, as the oceans upon and in which seals live, know no man-made borders or boundaries.

In essence, what I am asking, whether or not, you can afford more, you restrict your investment to just $500 a year (rather invest the balance in other worldly causes), or if, you cant afford the $500 singularly, or in monthly divided payments, you seek to put a group together who can, or If you have lots to give, then rather get more groups or people involved, instead. I like you, will equally invest my $500 once a year. I hope and trust, that this "partnership" is acceptable to all. (Please let me know, if it is not)

The injured just keep coming in. A yearling pup (sorry no pic) was found on the raft, with what looks like he had been attacked by a shark, where both his flippers had been severely mauled. One was already severely infected, the other was barely still attached. The following morning, he was gone. The next day, another pup (see pic above), was found floating around the raft, with his left flipper torn almost in half at the joint. When he lifted his flipper, there was a hole the size of a tennis ball inside his chest. You could see right into his chest cavity and see his internal organs. The whole day he swam, only aided by his back flippers up and down, following the group of seals around the raft. Later, he even swam with me to the raft, and hauled himself pathetically up onto the raft's ramp. There was even a large bone, broken right off, protruding outwards. Both these two seals, appeared to have been attacked by a shark and survived, it is worrying, for I don't know where these attacks are taking place, as these are not seals that I have encountered or seen before.

Terrified to attempt capture, as I was afraid that in the struggle, I would further damage his open wound. I just watched in sadness. Later that evening, as he clearly needed food in the very least, as he was completely unable to hunt. I caught him, and gently force fed him 6 pilchards. He offered little resistance, and his bite was very weak. I did this hoping to re-affirm to him, that if he needed, there was help at hand from me, if he could self heal. Bruce our kind vet was contacted, and plans were made to thoroughly check him over the next morning early at first light, to see what medically, could be done, unfortunately once again, he had left, and was nowhere to be seen. It is doubtful, whether he would survive. My planned "Birthday" trip to Elands Bay has therefore been delayed, in case he returns.

Unfortunately, on my birthday, even in death, "they" seem to find me. Found floating opposite the raft, after missing for two days. A close examination revealed there was no hope, his entire shoulder bones and some organs were missing. The cleanness of the cut, appears to indicate more towards a human designed tool, than a natural injury. At least he died in love, surrounded by his own kind, with a little food in his belly.

My dear friend Menkit, from Australia, also a fish, enjoyed his birthday yesterday I hope. Below is what I sent. If any of you would like a similar "in your face" pic taken on the day, please let me know when it is your birthday, and I and the seals, will be only too happy to oblige. Another dear partner, Gayle and her Mom, sent me the following poem, which I feel in just a few words sums it all up.


You know how they feel
You help them to heal, and give them a meal.
(I think they eat eels)

On their behalf you appeal
And do it with zeal
To the government you wonít kneel

Yes somebody loves you
Guess who?

Itís the



The Mom's, sorry Mum's of Myrna, sent in the following collage. Which I think goes to prove, these wild animals are not so wild, that we can't offer a caring hand, when needed.

It is now, 110 days into this seasons baby seal pup rescues, Mumkin is now 102 days old, Max and Myrna are 72, and they have all been "motherless", but not "MuM-ness" for 39 days on the "Spirit of Seal Supporters - Beauty Without Cruelty" boat and rafts, which they clearly love. These little intrepid travellers, unlike their other siblings which develop into life, only by their own flipper propulsion and douting mother, instead these 3 Muskaflippers, wrenched away from certain starvation death, hurriedly driven half dead over 300km, to have pipes shoved down into their baby belly's every 4 hours, forced to watch TV, crammed into a crate, loaded onto a rubber duck, and taken very far away from their original home, and placed upon and within a freshly painted boat, provided by all of you, who have become their caring "guardians", in which each's future now lies, have somehow just accepted it, and made it all their home.

Max and Myrna, although starting to swim, still require the encouragement of Mumkin, who is urging them in.

Mumkin getting the hang of underwater swimming

After her feed, Myrna does what all "ladies" do, play with something light and fluffy (A feather), sleep a little ...

Socialise, and flirt a little, she being the only female on the raft.(The seal sitting up is my first baby rescued, now 4, named Kidogo)

Whilst Mumkin and Max, have no problem suckling sea-water out "their now commonly shared bowl", but still refuse to suckle their own food.

But in the end, the 3 Muskaflippers, are all for one, and one for all.

Even our "Blind Seal", with no name, and who by the way needs a "long term guardian", has taken an active interest in watching over the 3 Muskaflippers.

Finally, I am really impressed 426 signatures on the petition to return seals to their island in just a few days is remarkable.
Our other petition, the one to Ban Guns in Fishing used by fisherman to shoot seals illegally is now on 7918, with OIPA (Italy) very hard at work, who have gathered an additional over 3000. Slowly we are closing in on the 30 000 Seal-Hating Fishermen. So please keep signing, adding comments and forwarding them on, as this will be our "cornerstone" for all future Seal Conservation, particularly when encounter stiff official opposition.

May the rest of the 5th, be as happy and as rewarding, as mine has been.
For the Seals, I am.
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA