Pieterburen and founder 't Hart part ways

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The seal sanctuary in Pieterburen is going to return seals to their natural habitat sooner than they have done so far, going against the founder Lenie 't Hart's vision. The staff laid down work since Saturday and threatened with a lawsuit if the supervisory board would not step down. The staff of the Pieterburen seals shelter thinks that 't Hart's method is outdated and is harmful to the animals and the natural balance in the Wadden area.

When 't Hart stepped down as manager in 2012, she was succeeded by acting manager Wibo van de Linde, who stuck to 't Hart's methods. The supervisory board also supported Van de Linde's management. Since Saturday the staff barred Van de Linde from the premises of the shelter. The supervisory board stepped down Monday evening. A new board will be formed, headed by former State Secretary Henk Bleker, according to reports. The staff think the seals should be administered less antibiotics and returned to sea sooner. Lenie 't Hart founded her shelter in Pieterburen in 1971, where she took in seals and nursed them back to health. At that time the seals population in the Wadden area was endangered. Nowadays biologists claim there are too many.

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