Infant Seal Caught In Litter Was So Excited To Be Set Free
“As we peeled the net away from his body, he sprang to life and it quickly became a rodeo ride.”
Earlier this week, on Scotland’s North Tolsta beach, people stumbled upon an animal who had gotten himself into some serious trouble.
A young seal pup, only about 6 weeks old, had gotten stuck in a mass of old nets and ropes — and he was so tangled and panicked that the ropes were starting to choke him. Luckily, the people knew just what to do and called a local rescue group to respond to the emergency.
David Yardley and Lyndsey Dubbley, of British Divers Marine Life Rescue, rushed to the scene, knowing the situation could quickly become fatal for the young marine animal.
They arrived and searched the beach for quite some time before finally finding the pup lying in the sand. The netting was firmly wrapped around his body — but since he was very ready to get out, he still had plenty of fight left.
“He posed a threat to us still, so I jumped onto him and guided his teeth away from us while we cut the net free, inch by inch,” Yardley told The Dodo. “As we peeled the net away from his body, he sprang to life and it quickly became a rodeo ride.”
Even when they're youngsters, seals have incredibly powerful jaws and sharp teeth — which is why it’s best to leave any close encounters to the people with marine animal rescue experience, Yardley explained.
Once the last piece of netting was cut free, Yardley and Dubbley quickly inspected the pup for injuries. Fortunately, he was more than ready to move on from the whole ordeal.
“Surprisingly there were only minor abrasions and the pup was determined to get away,” Yardley said. “So he took a quick jump off and away he wobbled — back into the sea for a wash and rest. There was also a female grey seal seen on a number of occasions alongside the pup, so we speculated that could have been his mum waiting for him.”
Luckily, this little seal managed to escape the grim fate thousands of marine animals meet each year by eating or becoming trapped in garbage. While it was a good day, Yardley said, he’s seen firsthand plenty of marine lives lost to litter.
“We were both elated that we were able to successfully undo the damage marine litter causes,” Yardley said of the rescue. ”It might seem little to some, but it only takes one simple action to make a difference. To watch him go back into the water reminds us why we do this.”
To support more rescues like this one, you can make a donation to British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
For guidelines on what to do if you ever spot a stranded seal, check out these helpful tips.