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Ludo the seal pup from Portugal to start new life in wild

By West Briton  |  Posted: August 31, 2014

  • Ludo, the grey seal, recovering at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek.

  • Ludo the grey seal, who swam 1,000 miles from Cornwall to Portugal

  • Ludo, the grey seal, who was rescued in the Algarve and returned to Cornwall to be cared for at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek.

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A GREY seal pup which travelled more than 1,000 miles from Cornwall to Portugal is to be released back into the wild this week.

The wayward seal, named Ludo, was found on a beach in the Algarve.

After the one-year-old was picked up by a rescue centre, he was nursed back to health and then flown back to the UK.

Ludo has been recovering after his adventure at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary at Gweek.

He was due to be released off the Cornish coast yesterday evening.

Animal care team member Dan Jarvis said: "Ludo has been in our nursery pools recovering from his trip back from Portugal, but is in great condition and ready to go back to the wild."

When he was found in Portugal in January, Ludo was suffering from dehydration and an ulcer in his left eye.

It is thought he was following the Gulf Stream.

He was flown back from Faro to Heathrow two weeks ago, from where he was driven to the Cornish Seal Sanctuary.

Care supervisor Tamara Cooper added that Ludo was now back at his full health.

"It's most likely he came from our own seas, and for reasons known only to himself followed the Gulf Stream south last autumn," she said.

"Maybe he was just desperate to escape our lousy winter weather."

The Cornish coast hosts the world's biggest population of grey seals, and their distribution only extends as far south as the coast of Brittany.

Now sanctuary staff hope Ludo will settle happily into a seal colony at The Quies rocks, about seven miles out from Newquay, and not wander away again.

Ludo has been fitted with an identification tag though – just in case.

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