Right now, Cape fur seals are in crisis!
Thousands are washing up on the shores of the Western Cape, in South Africa – some already dead, and others sick or injured. All are emaciated. When you imagine a seal, you think of a fat, well-covered and insulated animal. These seals are just skin and bone, with no blubber at all to provide them with protection or sustenance when food is unavailable.
No one knows what is causing this die-off, but the consequences are devastating for baby seals. They literally need to be fattened up if they are to survive. There is one small seal rehabilitation center in Cape Town, the Hout Bay Seal Rescue Centre (HBSRC), which is being overwhelmed by the crisis. There is a shortage of suitable fish to feed the seals and they have almost completely run out of food. We must source the fish elsewhere and RUSH THE EMERGENCY FOOD to the seals.
The sudden rapid increase in dead and sickly seals is baffling scientists and deeply worrying. The seals have been washing up on the shores for months and no one knows why.
HBSRC Operations Director, Kim Krynauw, has been running the center since 2019 with the help of a small team and many dedicated volunteers. They are completely inundated. Nothing could have prepared them for the tragedy that is currently unfolding. The center has been receiving four to five sick seals a day for months – that’s over 100 sick and dying animals a month – and they have been working around the clock to treat, medicate and feed these poor distressed animals. Sadly, some have already died, but we hope that by providing more food and support to the center, we can help more of these seals to live and ultimately be released back into the ocean.
It is a race against time to find the root cause of seal deaths and we are doing everything we can to help the situation. Essential investigation, research and medical testing is currently being done to determine any underlying health concerns in the marine ecosystem, but more work is needed to bring this tragedy to an end as quickly as possible.
We need to raise $6,000 (£4,500) to feed these starving seals. Forty seals eat about ONE TON of fish per month, and with all the seals the center is receiving, they are struggling to keep up. They are desperate for food and supplies to help feed the starving and treat the sick.
Please, donate whatever you possibly can and help us give these animals the food and medication they need to survive. We can’t stand to let them suffer any longer. They deserve a chance to survive, and to live free and happily in the ocean!