AN UNDERWEIGHT seal pup nursed back to health in Clacks is now thriving off the coast of Southern Ireland.

Slughorn, named after a character in the Harry Potter books, arrived at the Scottish SPCA National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross just before Christmas in 2018.

When he arrived he weighed just 19.5kg; however, after months of care and support, his weight more than doubled and he was released on a beach in the west coast of Scotland in April last year.

He was recently spotted by Seal Rescue Ireland on a beach south of Dublin who were able to identify him by using a tag with a unique ID number which was attached during his time in the Wee County.

After contacting their network of marine mammal centres across Europe, they discovered he was a former patient at the National Wildlife Centre.

Kaniz Hayat, head of seals with the Scottish SPCA National Wildlife Rescue Centre, said: "We are over the moon to hear Slughorn is healthy and doing so well.

"It's amazing to think how far Slughorn has come from when he arrived at the centre seriously underweight.

"Knowing that he is thriving and has been fit enough to travel so far underlines why we do the job."

Kaniz added: "He managed to travel 60 miles to the beach in southern Ireland.

"We are always grateful to our friends at SRI for letting us know when they discover one of our pups.

"It's incredible to be able to work together to monitor the movements of our former residents."

Slughorn is one of 200 seals that the Scottish SPCA cares for at the National Wildlife Centre each year, with each seal costing an average of £500 from arrival to release.

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