Starving injured seal rescued on Waxham beach

PUBLISHED: 15:17 11 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:17 11 August 2017

Golden Bitter is making a full recovery at East Winch RSPCA centre. Photo: RSPCA

Golden Bitter is making a full recovery at East Winch RSPCA centre. Photo: RSPCA


A seal pup has been rescued from a tangle of fishing net at Waxham beach on the north Norfolk coastline.

The female grey seal pup was found with a rope fishing net cutting into her neck. Photo: RSPCA The female grey seal pup was found with a rope fishing net cutting into her neck. Photo: RSPCA

The injured female grey seal was discovered by volunteers from a conservation group and has been taken to the RSPCA.

She was found on Thursday, July 27, emaciated and suffering from a deep, infected wound on her neck, by the group Friends of Horsey Seals.

The heavy rope netting was cutting into the animal’s neck, where it had become embedded. She is being treated at the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre, where she has been named, ‘Golden Bitter’.

Centre manager, Alison Charles, said: “Poor Golden Bitter was in a terrible state when she was first found.”

She added that the seal pup was starving when she was rescued, as she would have found it hard to fish with the weight of the netting.

The pup had a lucky escape, as if the wound had been left untreated it could eventually have led to her death.

Thankfully, the RSPCA vet was able to cut the netting away and treat the infected wound.

Golden Bitter is being taken good care of at the East Winch centre, where she is being given antibiotics and pain relief, and vets are bathing her wound twice a day.

Ms Charles said: “She is making a good recovery and has been moved to our outside pool as part of her rehabilitation.

“Sadly we do treat too many seals who have been caught in netting. But it is a tricky task to catch a seal if they are still mobile, so we are extremely grateful to the Friends of Horsey Seals who persevered for a few days trying to catch her.

“She is one of last year’s grey seal pups, so is still quite young and inexperienced, but I am hopeful that she will pull through and we can eventually release her back into the wild.

“We work with local fisherman to prevent litter ending up in the sea. I know fishermen who go the extra mile to protect wildlife, and one inland waterway fisherman who actually goes out in a canoe to pick up lines and hooks.”

If you see an animal in trouble, call the RSPCA’s on 0300 1234 999.

Golden Bitter requires four bags of salt a day as part of her rehabilitation, and you can help her recovery by making a donation through East Winch’s Amazon wish list.

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