A substitute mother made of waterproof trousers and towels is ensuring a baby seal stays plump after he was rescued from a garage.

The little grey pup was only a few days old when he was found alone in a resident’s garage a mile inshore of St Catherine’s Bay, Jersey.

He is being rehabilitated at RSPCA Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre in Hastings after he was rescued by British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) on October 29.

This season, Mallydams’ theme for naming grey seal pups is pasta and the youngster has been christened Pappardelle, which means "to gobble up”.

Pappardelle is doing well and is suckling on fish soup.

RSPCA Mallydams wildlife assistant Ash Peters said: “Little Pappardelle was only a few days old when he arrived here at Mallydams. After being separated from his mother in Jersey, the BDMLR arranged for an aircraft to get the little grey seal pup across to England for rehabilitation.


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“He was quite weak and wobbly when he was admitted to Mallydams and that’s probably because he hadn’t eaten much. He was examined thoroughly and happily we found nothing of concern. He’s noisy, stroppy and grumpy, just as a grey seal pup should be.”

Weighing an encouraging 15kg (33lb), he was already quite plump and keen to feed.

To avoid tube-feeding him, which can be quite stressful, RSPCA Mallydams colleague Penny Taberer invented a substitute mum for him made of waterproof trousers, towels and a feeding teat which he was soon suckling on enthusiastically.

“Pappardelle will be with us for a while, at least three or four months,” said Mr Peters.

“He’s still very young and hasn’t even lost his white fur yet, normally moulted at around three weeks old. He’ll need to be weaned on to fish and to reach around 35 to 40kg (77lb to 88lb) in weight before he can be returned to the wild. We plan to release him with some of the other grey seal pups we’re looking after here.”

It costs RSPCA Mallydams around £60 a day in fish alone to look after the seals in its care, so all financial donations are welcomed by the charity.

For more information on what to do if you see a wild animal in distress, visit the RSPCA’s website.