Ian Ellis was out bird watching in the Frampton Marsh nature preserve in Lincolnshire, England, when he spied something unusual through his telescope: a group of cows gathering around a small, distressed animal of some kind.

He carefully approached the herd and was shocked to discover… a baby seal stranded in the mud.

They were only about three miles from the ocean, but the seal appeared to be in rough shape and was going to need a lot more than just a ride back to the beach. Luckly, help was on the way.

This is the bizarre sight that greeted Ian Ellis while he was out bird watching in England’s Frampton Marsh nature preserve: A stranded baby seal surrounded by cows.

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Ian rushed to investigate and found the little creature suffering and distressed. He knew he needed to do more than just carry it back to the ocean several miles away.

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Rescuers quickly arrived on the scene and took the baby seal to the nearby Skegness Natureland Seal Sanctuary, where she was treated for dehydration and a lung infection. She was also severely malnourished.

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She responded incredibly well to the treatment, quickly gaining back the weight she had lost and showing lots of spirit. She even made a seal friend, Charlie.

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When she was well enough, her rescuers decided it was time for her to go back to the wild.

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The Natureland team brought both her and Charlie back to the ocean and released them together.

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This is the last photo taken of the seal, now named Celebration, staring out to sea before finally returning home.

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What a sweet ending. It really warms my heart to think about those two adorable animals playing together in the wild, free, happy, and healthy again.

Share this touching story with your friends below, and consider donating to the Skegness Natureland Seal Sanctuary so they can continue to help animals in need.