Seal release 6th January 2017 – ‘Princess Aroma’ returns to Horsey

The Return of Princess Aroma.

An adult grey seal was taken off the beach at Horsey in October for treatment at RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre to infected lacerations caused by netting entangled around her neck.  On arrival at East Winch she was given the name, Princess Aroma, a reminder of the overpowering perfume from her wounds which lingered in the transport vehicle. She was returned and released at Horsey on Friday 6th December 2016.

Grown seals are not easy to manage and this one proved nervous and difficult to handle throughout her treatment.  Netting had cut deeply into her skin and the wound was badly infected.  Superb care by the staff and volunteers at RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre resulted in her return to health and she has been ready for release for a couple of weeks.  A really feisty girl, she refused to enter the transporter at an earlier attempt to return her to Horsey and remained an inpatient at East Winch over Christmas.

A second plan to release her on Monday 9th January was brought forward at short notice when she was uncooperative in moving to a pre-release pool on Friday.   Staff encouraged her to go into the transport vehicle which was in a convenient position to collect her on Monday.  Though she was safe in the vehicle, it was better for the seal to bring forward the release, as she demonstrated with her swift return into the cool waters of the North sea when the entourage arrived at  Horsey

These photos show her injury and the netting that was cut away from her neck.


FoHS is extremely grateful to Alison Charles and her team at East Winch for the care they gave to Princess Aroma, and for sending us these 3 video clips of her release at Horsey to share with you.

Watch the release on video.

Princess Aroma was too bulky to be carried to the beach, so she was unloaded from the transport vehicle in Horsey car park at the entrance to Horsey Gap and guided through the gap using ‘pigboards’.  Once back on terra firma she was keen to get moving. 

The Princess is met by a bull seal, but is he Prince Charming? 

The final act, Princess Aroma returns to the North Sea. We wish her well.