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Saving seals in St. Petersburg

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 - 01:30

April 23 - Rehabilitation centre in St.Petersburg rescues, treats and releases into the wild baby seals. Sharon Reich reports.

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TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NONE**~ Kruzensthern the baby seal arrived at this rehabilitation center in St. Petersburg covered in oil. His condition was delicate and the rescue team say he was fighting for his life. SOUNDBITE: Vyacheslav Alexeyev, staff member, saying (Russian): "We really respect this animal because he has managed to survive. He was badly covered in oil by-products, and there was a high probability that he would die from oil intoxication. But he survived. Plus when he got here he was either newborn or 2-3 days old, he is emotionally very attached to people, which creates a big problem for us. We will have to specially work with him to detach him from people." He's one of 28 seals being treated at this rehab center. Like Kruzensthern the other seals are also suffering from the effects of pollution and climate change. Over time the staff here teach the animals to fend for themselves so that so they can be reintroduced into the wild. This year the centre is unusually crowded -- there are more than five times the number of patients that were here last year, mainly Baltic ringed or grey seals. SOUNDBITE: Vyacheslav Alexeyev, staff member, saying (Russian): "When they get here - to put it boldly - they are dystrophic. They want to eat badly, and no matter how much we feed them, they always ask for more." Eventually, the seals learn how to catch their own so that when they're ready, they can return home and be ready to swim with the current.

Saving seals in St. Petersburg

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 - 01:30

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