A quartet of newborn seal pups had to be rescued from islands off the west coast after being separated from their mothers during storms.
The four common seals were just days old when they were discovered on the islands Barra, Luing, Lismore and Mull.
They were taken to the mainland on ferries and are now being cared for by staff at the Oban Sea Life Sanctuary in Argyll.
Some of the animals will be transferred to the Scottish SPCA’s wildlife rescue centre at Fishcross, Clackmannanshire, where they will be rehabilitated then released when they are strong enough to fend for themselves.
Oban aquarist Anna Price said yesterday: “There was some real ‘wrath of the gods’ thunder storms at the end of last week and then we started receiving calls over the weekend.
“We are right at the start of the common seal breeding season and the pups were only a few days old — the youngest still had its umbilicus.
“They would have been separated from their mothers, but they’ve started to perk up.
“They weigh only around seven or eight kilos at the moment, and we won’t release them until they are about 20-25 kilos. It will take them a few months but once they realise they like the taste of whole fish they will become eating machines and there will be no stopping them.”
The pups have been named Barra, Luing, Lismore and Mull after the islands on which they were found.
Another pup, found at Glensanda Quarry in Argyll, has been named “Dumbo” because of the size of its flippers.
Anna said: “Dumbo has enormous flippers.”
Anyone who finds a stricken seal pup on the shore is urged to stay away from it as its mother may be nearby. Seal mothers can abandon pups due to human interference.
Earlier this year, three poorly seal pups named after characters from TV series Game of Thrones were released back into the wild.
Florent, Osha and Tywin were among nearly 100 seals rescued by the Scottish SPCA during the recent breeding season.
They were nursed back to health at the charity’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross, Clackmannanshire, where they were given names from the fantasy drama.