Seal named 'Suffolk Punch' rescued from net
PUBLISHED: 16:08 12 January 2019
A seal is recovering in a wildlife centre after it became entangled in micro-netting at Horsey Gap.
The grey seal, who has been named Suffolk Punch by RSPCA workers, was caught in a fine, orange net when a visitor called on volunteers from the Marine and Wildlife Rescue and Friends of Horsey Seals to rescue it.
Dan Goldsmith, chairman of the Marine and Wildlife Rescue, said the large male was “a bit aggressive” when it was first approached by the three men from the volunteer services.
“We used a specialist net that is positioned in between the seal and the water to then move it to the stretcher - we try to the keep the stresses to a low for the seal, but it is not a pleasant experience for them,” Mr Goldsmith said.
He said adult seals tend to have an adverse reaction to people and animals - particularly dogs, which go close to the seals - making rescue missions for the team difficult.
“I have been bitten twice and it is not pleasant - you need a strong dose of targeted antibiotics,” he added. “Especially the grey seals, which are a big, strong machine.”
Suffolk Punch was moved to East Winch RSPCA on Friday, where he will be soaked in a salt bath, medicated and fed for several months.
But Jo Mead, supervisor at the RSPCA, said it is still “touch and go”.
“We have taken the netting off, he was very angry - but all being well the wound will be cleaned up so we’ll let him settle in and start feeding him fish,” she said.
In the last decade, Mr Goldsmith has seen an increase of seals rescued from entanglement, with rescues jumping to once a month.
“It is so sad - although I suspect there are more seals out there, and there has always been an issue with rubbish.
“Seals are inquisitive and curious creatures and they will go towards a piece of rubbish if they see it,” he said.
Last year, Horsey volunteers also rescued a seal with frisbee stuck around neck.