A Tale from Griffiths Island

Griffith Island We drove a few kilometres into Port Fairy and bought pies and coffee from Cobbs Bakery. We finished our lunch with ice cream from Poco’s ans drove to Griffiths Island. We’d barely pulled in near the causeway when a little boy raced over to the car and started tugging on the handle until I opened the door. He was insistent I get out and clutched my hand while I clutched my ice cream in the other. He lead me over to the rocks pointing but at first I couldn’t see what he was looking at. Ah there it was, quite camouflaged,  Imagea baby seal.

‘But it’s—-!’ I bit my tongue. Then an eye opened.  Image

‘It’s alive!’ I exclaimed. And deep breathing could be observed. The little boy and his brother watched intently while their mother spoke on the phone. Soon a by-laws officer arrived and told the woman he would contact a wildlife carer. Satisfied she walked to her car beckoning the boys. But they did not want to leave until finally I promised that we would look after the seal until someone else came. ‘Don’t let the crows come near,’ the older boy instructed.

We sat in the car feeling we could not do much. I sent reiki to the dying seal. Several children, including three very concerned girls, and an adult or two stopped at length. One excitable boy came back a few times and I stood nearby while he tipped some water on the little seal while his mother remonstrated. And the little creature did lift its head and moved a few paces, to the excitement of Isaac, that was his name, and I. Mother insisted Isaac come away and he left, I felt sure convinced he was a miracle worker.

Pathetically the little creature propped its head on a rock.ImageSoon after five pm the by laws officer returned and he told me the wildlife carer  was on her way. Wild life van 002Eventually she arrived and the two consulted,     Image before she made several phone calls. She had to have permission to move the seal and to find a vet who would euthanise the dying creature. She explained to me how mother seals would reject the older infant when a baby had to be fed. If the youngster is not strong enough to fend for itself, or there are not enough fish available then it will starve to death. Logical but sad!

The woman and the shire worker covered the baby with a pink blanket Imageand carried it to the van where they took out a cage and placed the seal inside.

Thoughtfully we drove away.

Postscript: We found out later that it was discovered that the little seal’s mouth was ulcerated so euthanasia was necessary. The body was sent to Melbourne Zoo for valuable research as this disease is seen a lot amongst local seals.

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4 Responses to A Tale from Griffiths Island

  1. Suzanne says:

    Gosh what a story. You wrote it well. The emotion of everyone involved really came across.

  2. danceon2012 says:

    Wow this is definitely your medium……I was moved to some tears……..your prose extenuates the photos on an exponential scale….. Paul

  3. Vanessa says:

    a sad story Janice enjoyed reading your story

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