Seal with plastic ring embedded in neck named Sir David Attenborough by rescuers
PUBLISHED: 11:24 04 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:57 04 April 2019
Another horribly injured seal with a plastic plaything deeply embedded in its neck has been plucked from the sands at Horsey.
The adult male, thought to be around six to eight years old, was rescued by a team of volunteers who were able to get closer than normal because the animal was asleep.
Luckily Sir David, part of a successful and growing colony, had settled away from the main herd making him easier to catch.
Peter Ansell, chairman of the Friends of Horsey Seals, said he was one of a number of injured seals trapped in plastic and facing suffocation or starvation that they had been keeping an eye on.
The seal - named after Sir David Attenborough whose programme Blue Planet brought to people’s living rooms the full horror of what plastic was doing to marine life - has been taken to the RSPCA’s hospital at East Winch.
Mr Ansell said at 6ft long and weighing some 126 kilos Sir David took some hauling up the soft dunes but that rescue, which also involved Marine and Wildlife Rescue, had come in the nick of time.
Until now he had been able to feed but was reaching the “tipping point” when it would become impossible and too painful.
“They were able to grab him as easy as it ever can be because he was asleep and away from the others,” he said.
“The plastic ring had been there for a long time, it was well embedded.
“What happens is that they slip them on their necks when they are young and then they grow. He had quite a severe cut all the way round.
“He must have been in pain although they don’t cry out like some animals.
“This time it wasn’t a frisbee it was one of those things people throw for dogs.
“I always say to people if you are going to play with these things make sure you are a long way from the water and do not throw them into the water for your dog because if the dog doesn’t get it a seal could.
“By all means give your dog a good run around but do it away from the shore further up the beach.”
Just as they were rescuing Sir David on Wednesday (April 3) at around 4pm another call came in about a seal “necklaced” with green netting.
Mr Ansell said they were aware of the animal but had not been able to get close enough to help with it.