The HBSRC was started in 1999 by the late Francois Hugo who has since passed away. The facility is now run by Volunteers.
Our mission is to intervene when seals are in distress. We rescue injured, sick or orphaned seals and then rehabilitate and return them to their natural environment within the Cape Peninsula Metropolitan Region. The centre responds to all cases reported.
Our volunteers are on standby 24 hours a day to immediately respond to calls of seals in distress. As part of the rehabilitation process, seals that arrive at the centre are immediately treated for dehydration and are hand fed until they are strong enough to catch their own fish. We also have a water enclosure at the centre, where the seal pups can safely enter and learn to swim, before they are fully strong and healthy and able to fend for themselves in the ocean. Many of our rescues also require specialised medical care. The Centre has a Veterinarian on standby and our 3 full time staff work around the clock to ensure seals are given any prescribed medication as required by the vet.
Younger seals generally stay at the centre for a one year. Seals older than one year old will stay the length of time required to heal from their injuries. These older seals are generally treated as "outpatients" and swim freely in the ocean surrounding the centre by day, by sleep on the centre's jetty's at night.
The Cape Fur Seal is a protected species in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (10/2004): Threatened or Protected Marine Species Regulations.