Mrs Vicar the seal recovering from horror injury

RSPCA caring for a grey seal

In the last two years, the RSPCA has received 8,092 calls about animals injured or caught up in litter. - Credit: RSPCA

An injured seal that was christened Mrs Vicar due to a plastic ring digging into its neck for more than two years is making a recovery.

The adult grey seal has been in the care of RSPCA's East Winch centre for a month after she was caught by Friends of Horsey Seal volunteers on Easter Sunday. 

She had sustained a 7cm-deep wound due to the ring which had become "very smelly". 

Now those caring for her say Mrs Vicar is showing signs of improvement, moving to the centre's outside pool to carry on with her recovery, but is likely to be there at least another three months.

Alison Charles, centre manager at East Winch, said: “When I first saw how severe Mrs Vicar’s wounds were I was really worried she wouldn’t be able to make it.

“It was just so severe and infected and you could smell the infected flesh, it was just awful. When the ring was removed it then meant that her body released a huge swell of dangerous toxins, which she then had to fight off.

"So for the first few days she didn’t really move or show any signs of improvement - and although this is something we do see with necklace injured seals, it was still very worrying that she wasn’t going to pull through.

“While we are all still very concerned for her, we are pleased that she is starting to make real steps of improvement - but it is still a very long road to recovery and she is still likely to be at the centre for another three months.”

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In the pool the seal is building up her strength to catch fish, stretching her neck to reach for food. 

The news of Mrs Vicar's story spread around the world and the centre received donations of hundreds of bags of salt and thousands of pounds towards its fish appeal.

The centre cares for more than 150 seals a year, costing £3,999 for three pallets of mackerel for the mammals. 

Ms Charles said: “So far we have raised just over £8,700 and our target is £10,000 so it would be wonderful if people can help us to reach this milestone.

“Mrs Vicar and all the other seals in our care are still getting through lots of mackerel so we are still in need of donations if people still do want to help us.”