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Grey seal pup rescued from fishing line ‘sliced’ into its neck

PUBLISHED: 12:24 01 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:24 01 July 2018

Rangers at Blakeney in north Norfolk freed a one-year-old grey seal pup from fishing net. Photo: Norfolk Coast National Trust

Rangers at Blakeney in north Norfolk freed a one-year-old grey seal pup from fishing net. Photo: Norfolk Coast National Trust

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A grey seal pup was rescued from fishing net line which had sliced a centimetre deep cut into its neck.

The pup made for the sea as soon as it was released. Photo: Norfolk Coast National TrustThe pup made for the sea as soon as it was released. Photo: Norfolk Coast National Trust

National Trust rangers at Blakeney Nature Reserve found the one-year-old seal caught in the monofilament line and net at Stiffkey beach on Saturday June 30.

Ranger Carl Brooker said: “We put towels over its head so it stopped struggling and then sat behind its head with knees pinning the flippers.

“The towel calmed it and we were able to cut the line.

“Once it was off it bled a bit and I sluiced it with seawater.

The fishing net and monofilament had sliced into the seal's neck. Photo: Norfolk Coast National TrustThe fishing net and monofilament had sliced into the seal's neck. Photo: Norfolk Coast National Trust

“The bleeding stopped very quickly and the line had only sliced into blubber.

“Once we’d done that it made for the sea.”

Lead ranger Steve Prowse said: “The seal was well out on exposed sand at low tide.

“It had got trapped and tried to bite its way out.”

“We get this sort of thing reported to us frequently.

“The obvious thing is there needs to be less plastic in the sea and fishing gear needs not to be discarded.

“Our rangers are forever picking up plastic and we have three beach cleans a year.

“We pick up a tractor load of rubbish and get around a hundred people helping us out.

“I think Blue Planet II has been a real wake up call to many people.”

The next beach clean will be held at Blakeney Point on Saturday, September 15, from 10am - 1pm.

Anyone wanting to help should meet on Cley beach from 10am.


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