Sealife Sanctuary Hunstanton is situated on the Southern Promenade of Hunstanton in Norfolk, on England’s east coast, where it undertakes seal rescues, as well as participating in national efforts to this end. The Seal Hospital there has dealt with more than 100 baby seals over the years, and ticket holders on a family day out to Sealife Sanctuary Hunstanton have a chance to observe its staff working with animals rescued from a variety of circumstances, whether abandoned, sick, injured by accident, or involved in pollution. The family attraction grants visitors the chance to see seal pups from their initial treatment through to recovery and, if possible, release to the place from whence they came.
Sealife Sanctuary Hunstanton staff work round the clock to save rescued seals and maintain a daily routine from before sunrise, checking on pups, treating and prescribing medicines, taking blood, attacking infections, and feeding. If a pup is younger than three weeks (a white pup), it’s fed with liquidised fish, glucose and electrolyte solution – similar to its mother’s milk. The feeding is done via bottle or tube. From three weeks old, pups are weaned onto fish and, when they are around 20 kilos, they’re relocated to an outdoor nursery pool, prior to returning to the sea with an unobtrusive ID tag.
A ticket to this bewitching family attraction grants access to an enclosure containing a group of Humboldt Penguins, which are now as few as 10,000 in the wild. The flightless marine birds come from the coasts of Peru and Chile, and the lithe and swift swimmers notch up 10 mph in the water. Their amusing antics are a top draw on a family day out at Sealife Sanctuary Hunstanton and guaranteed to bring a smile to the face.
Equally popular are the British otters (aka Eurasian Otters), which are under threat from the loss of their habitat, pollution, recreational disturbances, tourism and hunting. Their activities are worth the price of a ticket alone for many, and their reputation as natural born entertainers is challenged only by some of the exotic species at Sealife Sanctuary Hunstanton.
These include a Bamboo Shark in the Ocean Tank, the Claws zone with its lobster, fiddler, horseshoe and spider crabs, plus the mantis shrimp, which has a spring-loaded front claw that has the equivalent power of a .22 bullet shot. Furthermore, a ticket to the family attraction brings holders up close and personal with Giant Japanese crabs that have a three-metre claw-span. The world’s biggest land crab, they arrive from Japan in special crates and spend a fortnight acclimatising in the Marine Hospital quarantine unit before taking up residence. Ticket holders can also see mothers and fathers in the Maternity/Paternity ward and younger specimens in the Nursery Ward, while the caring of injured or sick fish goes on as a matter of routine. Thus, a family day out at Sealife Sanctuary Hunstanton is both enlightening and enjoyable, making the any-weather facility a superb family attraction.
Southern Promenade, Hunstanton, Norfolk, PE36 5BH
Tel: 01485 533576
Times: Daily, 10.00 – various, dependent on season