NEW Marine Rescue Centre …

Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium in partnership with the animal charity Pawz For Thought is creating a major new rescue centre to provide emergency care for stranded seal pups and other marine life.

The new Marine Rescue Centre, which is due to open next month, will provide a purpose-built rescue facility for sick, injured and abandoned seal pups as well as other marine life.

Blue Reef has been working closely with Pawz for Thought for over 10 years to provide immediate rescue for seal pups.

During this period, over 200 Seals have been rescued. Once stabilised the rescued seals are then transferred by the RSPCA to their Wildlife Centre in Norfolk.

Due to the success of this initiative and a growing demand for additional care and support the aquarium has decided to create a permanent, purpose-built rescue facility.

Blue Reef’s Anna Pellegrino said: “The new facility will have eight main areas. Three enclosures are dedicated for marine and general animal holding.

“Two additional enclosures are of multi-function design and can be easily converted in to one large flotation pool.

“There will also be an area for veterinary inspection and two preparation areas for the dietary and medication requirements of all animals.

“The building has been carefully planned to accommodate up six seal pups with holding areas to facilitate more as required,” she added.

The new rescue centre will also feature a series of areas for visitors to observe the rescued pups and to find out more about the centre’s day-to-day work.

“Three soundproof and single-way viewing windows will be provided for visitors to view the different animals we rescue throughout the year,” said Anna.

“They will also have the opportunity to see the preparation of the dietary requirements of our resident seals as well as presentations and interpretation about the stories of the animals in our care.

“Signage will provide more information on a variety of related topics including what to do and who to contact if you discover a stranded seal or any other animal requiring rescue. There will also be more information on the rescue work Pawz for Thought carries out,” she added.

Staff are hoping the new Marine Rescue Centre will be ready in time for the February half-term holidays.