A grey seal pup found stranded a thousand miles from home on the beach near Sagres, Portugal has enjoyed a free trip home to Cornwall.
The pup was rescued by staff from the Zoomarine rescue centre in the Algarve resort of Albufeira in January and treated for dehydration and an ulcer in his left eye.
Christened Ludo, he is now ready to return to the wild off the UK’s Cornish coast from where he probably set off on his big adventure some time last summer.
Portugal’s gave Ludo free passage from Faro to Heathrow, from where he was driven to the Cornish Seal Sanctuary.
“We will keep him in our nursery pools for a period just to make sure he’s fighting fit, but unless he shows signs of ill health should be ready to release in two or three weeks,” said the Sanctuary’s animal care supervisor Tamara Cooper.
The Cornish coast hosts the world’s biggest population of grey seals, and their distribution only extends as far south as the coast of Brittany.
“It’s most like he came from our own seas, and for reasons known only to himself followed the Gulf Stream south last autumn,” said Tamara.
“Maybe he was just desperate to escape our lousy winter weather.”