Rangers save grey seal trapped in fishing netting on Blakeney Point

The bull grey seal on Blakeney Point trapped in fishing netting. Picture: AJAY TEGALA The bull grey seal on Blakeney Point trapped in fishing netting. Picture: AJAY TEGALA

Sunday, May 11, 2014
9:56 AM

Conservation experts on a north Norfolk beauty spot have warned about the dangers of littering after fishing netting was removed from an adult grey seal.

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The large mammal, over two metres long, was spotted three times in the channel near Blakeney Point over the May bank holiday by visitors.

Coastal rangers for the National Trust in north Norfolk discovered the animal on the point on May 7.

The one metre long grey rope netting from a fishing vessel was wrapped around the bull seal’s neck.

It was removed by seasonal ranger Paul Nichols, coastal ranger Ajay Tegala and RSPCA collection officer Antoinette Shearsby. The trio received advice from the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre near King’s Lynn.

Despite the rubbish digging into the seal’s neck the mammal went back into the water.

Mr Tegala said: “It was on the beach looking quite sorry for itself. The netting was clearly limiting its movement. After the netting was removed the seal rested for a while, because it was exhausted, then went back into the sea. It was clearly in distress.”

He added a young common seal was released from fishing netting on Brancaster beach last weekend by a trust coastal ranger Keith Miller.

Mr Tegala said: “Litter is something we encounter on a daily basis. We encourage people not to drop any litter in the sea or on the beach.”

Seals can drown if they are dragged down by netting and birds can die if they eat small pieces of plastic.

If anyone spots a seal or other wild animal in distress do not approach it and call the RSPCA on 0300 1234999 or National Trust in north Norfolk on 01263 740241.

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