Hunstanton SEA LIFE seal Jon Bon Jovi needs a lift home this Christmas – can you help?

PUBLISHED: 15:35 12 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:35 12 December 2019

Hunstanton SEA LIFE seal Jon Bon Jovi (pictured) needs a helping hand this Christmas to get home to his family. Picture: Supplied/SEA LIFE

Hunstanton SEA LIFE seal Jon Bon Jovi (pictured) needs a helping hand this Christmas to get home to his family. Picture: Supplied/SEA LIFE

Supplied/SEA LIFE

One of Hunstanton SEA LIFE’s seal pups needs your help to get home in time for Christmas – can you help?

Hunstanton SEA LIFE seal Jon Bon Jovi (pictured) needs a helping hand this Christmas to get home to his family. Picture: Supplied/SEA LIFEHunstanton SEA LIFE seal Jon Bon Jovi (pictured) needs a helping hand this Christmas to get home to his family. Picture: Supplied/SEA LIFE

Jon Bon Jovi needs a boat and the Norfolk centre's animal care team are not sure Santa Claus can fit one in his sleigh.

Jon Bon Jovi was rescued in July this year after he was abandoned by his mother. He was found extremely underweight at only 9.5 kilos.

Kieran Copeland, curator at SEA LIFE Hunstanton, immediately recognised Jon Bon Jovi as a partial albino in need of rehabilitation care.

"It has been over 15 years since we last rehabilitated a seal with this condition" said Kieran.

Hunstanton SEA LIFE seal Jon Bon Jovi (pictured) needs a helping hand this Christmas to get home to his family. Picture: Supplied/SEA LIFEHunstanton SEA LIFE seal Jon Bon Jovi (pictured) needs a helping hand this Christmas to get home to his family. Picture: Supplied/SEA LIFE

"As soon as you meet Jon Bon Jovi you can see his peculiarity - the red eyes are a key characteristic of his condition.

"The question of his level of sight was raised upon his arrival but Jon Bon Jovi was given a chance to recovery as partially sighted seals have been successfully rehabilitated in previous years and besides missing some pigmentation, he is a healthy seal."

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After two months in the 'Seal Hospital', the team were getting concerned that whilst he was eating fine, he wasn't making any attempt to feed himself and would ignore fish.

A visit to some specialist ophthalmologist "angels" at Animal Health Newmarket was "essential" for Jon Bon Jovi's rehabilitation.

"He was the perfect patient and behaved very well whilst the team did their examination," said Hollie Stephenson, senior aquarist.

"The results revealed his eyes are perfectly normal, and the developmental delay wasn't because he couldn't see the fish but because he is photophobic.

"The only way to tell how sensitive to the light he is would be to take him back home and try dimming his surroundings and seeing how he gets on," Hollie added.

At 35 kilos Jon Bon Jovi is now ready to live his life in his natural habitat.

After such an extensive rehab period, and with his photophobia, the team would like to help him one last time by taking him out to the Seal Colony.

There he will be able to learn from the adult seals the best places to find food and live a long and happy life.

If you can help, or know someone that can, call 01485 533576 or email: slchunstanton@merlinentertainments.biz


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