After catching him, they realized that the poor struggling seal was very young, only around 9 months old. The netting was embedded deep in his neck, and if left alone, would have gotten deeper and more painful. Rescuers gently slipped a knife under the netting, cut it free, and then very carefully peeled it out of the seal’s neck. They gave the wound a quick cleaning, and ultimately decided not to take the seal to a rehabilitation facility, as the healing properties of the salt water would be enough to consistently clean and heal the wound.
“The net had been pulled in tight across the back of the neck and had caused a fairly significant injury; this often happens as when the seal is hauling across a beach, the trailing part of the net will catch under the body and flippers and be pulled tight with every movement it makes,” Jarvis said. “Essentially it acts like a saw going back and forth and digging into its neck to cause the wound. The added weight and drag of the net when it is swimming would make it harder for it to hunt efficiently. There is also the small chance that it could get snagged on something underwater and drown.”