Seal fighting for life after getting neck tangled in fishing net

A grey seal who got his neck caught in a discarded fishing net has been rescued from a beach by volunteers and is now fighting for his life.

The young adult male was found with a 10ft tangle of old plastic netting and rope wrapped tightly round his neck, and has an infected wound that goes three quarters of the way round.

He was rescued by the Friends of Horsey Seals charity at Horsey, around 13 miles north of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, on Monday.

He is being cared for at the RSPCA's East Winch Wildlife Centre near King's Lynn.

Alison Charles, centre manager, said: "This is a horrendous injury and the poor seal has been fighting for his life.

"He's extremely emaciated - probably half the weight he should be.

"When he arrived here, he was exhausted and wouldn't move.

"We didn't think he would make it through the night."

Rescuers bringing the seal in
Rescuers bringing the seal in

She said staff removed the nylon netting from the seal's neck, have put him on antibiotics and pain relief and it seems he may have turned a corner.

"He has even started eating again," she said. "Though we're taking it one step at a time."

They are floating him in a daily salt bath to help his neck injury, and praised Friends of Horsey Seals for rescuing him.

So far this year the centre has treated four seals injured by carelessly discarded plastic, including Mrs Frisbee - who got a circular toy disc caught round her neck.

Mrs Frisbee
Mrs Frisbee

Mrs Frisbee was nursed back to health at the RSPCA centre and released back into the sea in February this year.

"Sadly, this seems to be part of the more widespread problem of plastic in the sea which has been highlighted recently," said Ms Charles.

The centre, which is naming seals rescued this year after Indian takeaways, has called the seal Downham Tandoori.