Volunteers rescue ‘feisty’ seal with rubber ring around neck

A team of volunteers from Friends of Horsey Seals rescue a seal with a rubber ring embedded around i

A team of volunteers from Friends of Horsey Seals rescue a seal with a rubber ring embedded around its neck at Horsey on Saturday, September 5. Picture: Friends of Horsey Seals. - Credit: Archant

A ‘feisty’ seal with a rubber ring embedded around its neck has been saved from severe injury by volunteers.

A team of volunteers from Friends of Horsey Seals rescue a seal with a rubber ring embedded around i

A team of volunteers from Friends of Horsey Seals rescue a seal with a rubber ring embedded around its neck at Horsey on Saturday, September 5. Picture: Friends of Horsey Seals. - Credit: Archant

The adult male, thought to be around four years old, was rescued on Saturday afternoon (September 5) on the beach at Horsey, when a specialist team attended with seal catching equipment and managed to secure the animal.

Peter Ansell, chairman of Friends of Horsey Seals, said : “We got a call on Saturday, saying it was there. We knew about it from previous experience.

“Luckily she was not in the bunch, but on the edge, so we thought we had a chance and nipped in quickly and took it in the net.”

Mr Ansell said a rubber ring or gasket, about six to eight inches in diameter, was stuck tight around the seal’s neck.

A rubber ring that had been embedded around a seal's neck at Horsey on Saturday, September 5. Pictur

A rubber ring that had been embedded around a seal's neck at Horsey on Saturday, September 5. Picture: Friends of Horsey Seals. - Credit: Archant

“When we pounced on it I cut the gasket off,” he said.

“It went flying back to sea with great speed.”

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Mr Ansell said the seal’s injury was superficial.

His colleague and vice-chairman of the group, David Wyse, said the seal was “feisty”.

“Fortunately there was no injury or open wound and it was thankfully released back into the sea,” he added.

MORE: Broads’ store owner coaxes wayward seal back to sea on an inflatable kayakMr Ansell said at least six other seals on the beach still have various objects, including rings and netting, around their necks.

But the volunteers cannot help the animals when they are still in the pack, he said.

“If it’s a bunch of 20 to 40 seals, as soon as we go near, they’re spooked, and in the water before we get a chance.

“We have to bide our time, wait until they are isolated, when we have a reasonable chance of getting to them.

“We’re keeping an eye on them,” he added.

Mr Ansell advised members of the public to call only if they spot seals when they are out of, or on the edge of, the bunch.