SEAL LUCY RELEASED IN THE SEA
KV Oostende donated € 1.000 crowdfunding money to Sealife in Blankenberge. With that money KVO adopted an injured seal - named Lucy - that was taken care of there and now has been released back into the sea safe and sound.
Last year, former players Sébastien Siani and Franck Berrier set up a crowdfunding campaign to give KVO a financial boost. After the takeover, it was decided to divide the money collected (€49,564 in total) between three actors: youth work (40%), social projects (40%) and supporters' work (20%). One of these social projects is Sealife in Blankenberge.
"We deliberately choose regional projects," said press and communication officer of KVO, Bram Keirsebilck. "In this way we show that 'local anchoring' is not a hollow concept within KVO. From that perspective, Sealife in Blankenberge also fits perfectly into that picture. The last few years we have seen more and more seals turning up on our beaches. Every year dozens of sick seals wash ashore. These young pups are sick, injured, exhausted and very emaciated. Just like our adopted seal Lucy. A name chosen by our supporters as a tribute to Lucy Monti and Lucy Loes, the two queens of the fishing song. The SOS Rescue Team of SEA LIFE Blankenberge caught Lucy, cared for her and ensured that she could now be released back into our North Sea safe and sound."
"However, taking care of the puppies and taking care of them is not cheap," said Michelle Hoeneveld of Sealife. "A seal pup costs an average of 2,500 Euros. The sanctuary does not receive a subsidy from the government for this and can only continue to exist thanks to the support of our visitors and adoptive parents. One of the ways to support the care of a seal is to adopt a pup. The donated amount goes entirely to the care of the seals. We are delighted that KVO, as the only first division association on our coast, has adopted a seal. Lucy was very weak and we even had to remove part of her jawbone. But look, she has recovered and we are happy to release her. Normally this happens in Blankenberge, but for KVO we were happy to make an exception and do this in Ostend."
Also a KVO player and born and bred in Ostend Brecht Capon was present, as was former player and crowdfunding initiator Franck Berrier. "I'm glad we were able to contribute to this initiative through crowdfunding," said French. "Moreover, it was nice for my children to be able to see the seals in the flesh for once."
The children of Berrier and Capon had the honour to open the coffin and to give Lucy back her freedom and they were thanked with a little seal.
"A day my daughter will not soon forget," said Brecht Capon.
"A unique synergy between KV Ostend, City of Ostend and Sealife Blankenberge," concluded Mayor Bart Tommelein and alderman for Human Environment Silke Beirens, who were also present during the release. "KVO thus demonstrates that it takes up its social role in society. We are very happy that we can now count two species of seals among our city's biodiversity. They are very welcome guests and have found a permanent home on the Klein Strand. At the same time we would like to thank the volunteers of the NorthSeal Team for keeping watchers at a distance. This way the seals can rest undisturbed on the beach."
Are you possibly interested in adopting a seal (or another animal) yourself? You can find more information here.