Seal Shelter Terschelling (ZOT) takes care of seals that need help, and does this with love and compassion. The care given to the seals is aimed at improving their condition and health, resulting in a quick return into the sea. Seals that need specialized medical care are sent to an institution appointed by the Dutch government.

Terschelling is an island in the Dutch part of the World Heritage Site ‘Wadden Sea’. On a regular basis, seals are found around the island, entangled in fishing nets or ropes, or alone on the beach, removed from their mother and facing death.

ZOT was founded by Hessel Wiegman (1947-2017), born and bred on Terschelling and a dedicated animal lover. He spent his life saving seals around the island and managed to save more than 4000 seals that could be transported to a seal sanctuary on the mainland.

His dream was to establish a seal shelter on Terschelling island, to avoid the long,

traumatic and costly transport to the mainland.

In December 2016, permission was obtained to establish a temporary shelter on a piece of farm land on Terschelling, with a license valid until June 2019. With the help of volunteers, local businesses and many donors, the temporary shelter became reality. 25 islanders were trained to care for and help rehabilitate seals. While the shelter was built, the first four seals were rehabilitated and could be released in healthy condition in September 2017.

Inhabitants and visitors of Terschelling are welcome at ZOT to witness the care of the seals and to learn what to do when a seal is found in need of help, either in the water or at the beach.

During the first year of operation, ZOT has demonstrated its effectiveness in the care and rehabilitation of seals. There now is a solid base to establish a permanent shelter, which will have a  capacity of 30 seals to be rehabilitated simultaneously.

ZOT has launched the ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign, in search for funds to realize the construction of the new permanent shelter.

Support the Seal Shelter Terschelling (ZOT) and Buy a Brick

To build the permanent shelter, 20,000 bricks are needed.

You can support ZOT by (symbolically) buying one or more bricks of € 10 each. Every donation helps and will be transferred to ZOT.

With your help the permanent shelter will be operational soon!

For more information: ZeehondenopvangTerschelling

Nets and rings... Fun to play with but causing enormous suffering

A ring, grown into the skin, removed.

September 2017: 4 seals released!