From: SEAL ALERT-SA
Subject: Seal-Man, Cape fur Seals, One-Man Seal Navy
Date: May 16, 2008
Dear All Cape Fur Seal Supporters,
Cape fur Seals, One-Man Seal Navy
Seal Alert-SA welcomes our many new French supporters, viva la France. To translate this page in French, copy and paste to/Pour traduire cette page en français, la copie et la pâte à
Many of you have written offering your help, support or funding. For this I thank you deeply on behalf of the Cape fur seals. In an attempt to collectively answer most common questions, I have explained below what Seal Alert-SA is and does on a daily basis. Individual replies are difficult as the majority of each day is taken up rescuing seals at sea.
Why a one-man seal navy, after a decade of seal protection and rescue? The answer is simple, in order to rescue and rehabilitate each seal requires complete dedication, every day for up to a year. There is no funds for salaries or to pay volunteers. Wild seals cannot be saved by volunteering for a few days. Trust and bonds need to be established in order to be able to effectively treat them over the months of long treatment. Its very specialized and dangerous as a 360kg seal, as large as a bear, can inflict a nasty bite. Baby seals need to adopt you are their parent, if they are to survive. Without physically rescuing these seals in the wild, in all sea conditions, with specialized equipment, one is not able to understand fully what is required to conserve and protect this species for the future.
Wild Cape fur seals in the sea, will not respond to treatment or care, if no trust or bond has been established. Seal disentanglement is very specialized and takes years of skill to master.
As the attached pics illustrates, a day in the life of 45-year old, Francois Hugo, founder of Seal Alert-SA. Seal Alert-SA is a one-man seal-navy fighting for the survival of the Cape fur seals on this planet at the tip of Africa. Internationally known throughout Europe, Asia, America, Australia. I am seal-father and mother, life-saving, rehabber, feeder, care giver, campaigner, researcher, investigator, rescuer to over a million seals dispersed along the coastline covering three countries. My day starts at 6am and ends at 10pm. After a decade, and over 5000 personal seal rescues, I never take a day off or weekend or a holiday. Right now I have 6 baby seals and one yearling undergoing their year long rehab in my seal centre in Hout Bay Harbour, one of which is blind and will require life-time care. Outside on my floating rafts, another 25-50 seals undergoing various stages of treatment or disentanglement. During the course of each year, up to 1000 seal lives are physically saved, many, many more through my ongoing international protection campaigns.
My monthly costs to keep my one-man/seal-life saving operation going exceeds R20 000 a month or 2000 euros. Which is made up entirely of fish feed costs, fuel and medication and the occasional replacement of equipment. Each day I need to raise R500 or 40 euros to purchase fish, just to keep existing rescued seals alive.
My days involve diving in shark patrolled waters, meeting heads of government, doing research, aerial surveillance, rescue of seals in all condition, big 360kg seals and small 5 kg baby seals, rough seas and calm. Internationally I am known as the Seal-Man, its what I do. I do this for no personal income, reward or salary. I am possibly the only organization in the world doing this, and what is more I personal fund the majority of my own rescues. I have no staff, no helpers, no cleaners, no volunteers, no persons answering phones or doing admin.
Every dollar, pound, euro or rand raised goes directly to the seals, and the saving of their lives.
So how do I
support myself, for years my wife (Nelda) and I have
operated our own business, managing staff, manufacturing,
selling and exporting mini-global marine maps. We have
exported/sold over 45 000, this business provides my
personal income, and a portion of the profits from which,
goes again to my seal rescue costs, as my own personal
funding. My wife, manages this business. This allows me to
dedicate 100% of my time and energies to saving seals.
I am trying to stop thousands of fishermen taking guns to sea to shoot seals. Trying to stop the mutilation of thousands of seals via plastic loops discarded by the fishing industry. Trying to stop 2 Namibian seal clubbing rights holders, disturbing, interfering with the breeding behaviour and clubbing to death of 70% of the Cape fur seals and their young. As seals are extinct and banned from 99% of their offshore breeding habitat, I am trying to re-populate extinct seal islands.
Thousands of baby seals, which cannot swim until 6-weeks of age get washed off natal colonies by storm seas and drown or wash ashore as the offshore rocks they have been restricted to is too small for their survival.
This is my life's mission, which starts with saving of a seal's life each day.
If you are looking to help wildlife and this planet, and want to know that your hard earned donations are going directly to saving seals - then this is it. If you do decide to donate, you will deal directly and only with me personally. There is no-one more active, more passionate or more dedicated to saving this species of seals. My incredible record says it all.
In return, I will keep you updated through a weekly email newsletter and/or a video clip of the week's activities, these can be seen on www.youtube.com/user/sealmancam.
How can you help? Forward this email to family and Friends. Secondly, Funding is the most important, as each seal rescued costs in excess of R3000 or 250 euros. The more financial support received the more seal lives get saved. To avoid the pitfalls of large organizations where large funds are used to appeal for more funds. You could send Seal Alert-SA a monthly contribution, this way I can focus on the seal's protection and rescue - instead of consuming large amounts of valuable time appealing for funds to keep operating.
Thanks to the French Tv program this website recorded over 5000 visitors since 1 May, I was informed many French supporters wanted to donate funds. I was also informed, that after 2 days over 160 supporters had requested further banking information. According the volunteers operating this site and banking, they have sent me a list that 32 supporters donated funds into European bank accounts. I have requested a full disclosure from these volunteers, who are not co-operating fully. Rest assured, I am investigating and doing a full audit, if there has been any fraudulent activity, I will pursue this and call in the police.
If any supporters have received emails requesting donations on behalf of Seal Alert, or given details to deposit funds in European bank accounts, or place orders from the Seal Alert Shop, or have made donations to any European banks - to please fw me a copy of these details or emails. To assist in my investigation.
I will report further on this and my findings in my next update.
If you would like to contact me direct, my email address is email@example.com and my telephone number in South Africa is 27-21-790 8774.
Below is the only bank account to be used for funding, which has been officially approved by myself (see bottom of the page). Unfortunately South Africa due to its exchange controls does not allow Paypal. Therefore there are two methods to sent funds to Seal Alert-SA, either by direct bank to bank transfer or you can post me a cheque in the name of Seal Alert-SA.
Recently I appealed for 100 supporters to each fund 200
euros to help purchase a 36ft ocean going catamaran boat,
that I would like to convert into the world's first
floating seal rescue and rehabilitation facility. As we
currently stand about 10% has been received towards this
project. The purpose of which is to operate a facility that
is better suited to saving seal lives. Over the past few
weeks numerous enquiries have been received to help
volunteer. Unfortunately until such a vessel is acquired, I
am not able to take in volunteers, however if this purchase
becomes a possibility, it is envisaged then that small
groups of volunteers could join me in my seal rescues along
Thank you to those that have assisted Seal Alert-SA, and continue to do so.
PS - See below pics of Seal Alert in action.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
Seal Alert-SA Postal Address. SEAL ALERT-SA, BOX 221,
POSTNET, HOUT BAY, 7872, SOUTH AFRICA
HEREWITH IS FURTHER DETAILS FOR BANK TRANSFERS:
ZAR is South AfricanRand
More information to be able to send the money via internet:
SEAL ALERT-SA ACC : 911 2201 321 BRANCH CODE : 632 005 SWIFT CODE : ABSAZAJJ BANK : ABSA
SA NAT.CLEARING CODE
FOR EUROPE :
IBAN : 911 2201 321
ACCOUNT : 911 2201 321
BIC : ABSAZAJJXXX
BIC: (SWIFT-CODE) ABSAZAJJ Bank name : ABSA Address : DELPHI ARCH OFFICE PARK, RAATS DRIVE, TABLE VIEW City/code : TABLE VIEW, 7439 Country : South Africa