On Saturday we visited Zeehondencrèche Lenie ‘t Hart in the town of Pieterburen in the north of the Netherlands. The seal rehabilitation and research center has been taking care of sick and injured seals since it was founded in 1971.
The center is opened to the public every day of the year. It has a large exhibition area with many informative displays about seals in general and the work they do at the center. You can view newly arrived seals in four quarantine areas, as well as several other containment areas inside (behind glass) or outside. Behind the center is a large area with several pens with small pools where seals are rehabilitating.
The center has evolved from a simple shelter for young seals to a scientific research-based seal hospital, with accompanying facilities such as quarantines, a laboratory, a chemist and modern research facilities. They care for hundreds of seals each year that have been injured by boats or fishing nets and those that have become victims of pollution.
The center also rescues orphaned pups, which are called ‘huilers’ (‘cryers’) in Dutch. All rehabilitated seals are released into the wild after their rehabilitation period. None of the seals remain in captivity and none of the seals are bred.
For more information visit the official website of Zeehondencrèche Lenie ‘t Hart.