December 22 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
A trio of holidaymakers had an upsetting discovery after spotting a seal with white plastic around its neck.
The creature was on its own on the beach at Blakeney Point and was found by Anne Wilson, her partner Royston Simon and his son Benjamin Simon, nine, during a Good Friday walk.
Ms Wilson, 45, a teacher from Essex, said the animal went into the water and joined another seal.
A west Norfolk charity has said there has been an increase in animals being injured by rubbish in rivers and the sea and urged people to clear up waste.
Ms Wilson said: “It was quite traumatic. It is so beautiful on Blakeney Point and when you see something like that in distress, it is upsetting.”
She added she was surprised when she could get close to the seal - normally the mammals do not like being approached by people.
The discovery was made on the north/west shoreline, on the Wells/Stiffkey side of the point and Ms Wilson reported the seal to the RSPCA on Sunday via email.
Alison Charles, manager of the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre near King’s Lynn, said she believed the same seal was spotted by another nature lover three weeks ago at Blakeney Point.
Volunteers tried to find the animal but failed.
She said: “It [the injury] really is awful and looks absolutely horrendous. All we can do is ask people to keep an eye out for it. If they see it ring us straight away.
“It is so frustrating, there is so much rubbish out there. We are seeing more animals with stuff attached to them. We know this is the start of the season and will get worse. We are bracing ourselves for a busy summer.”
Animals injured by rubbish include ducks and swans getting legs stuck around fishing line and swallowing fishing hoops.
Mrs Charles added over the past 10 years there has been an increase in seals getting injured by rubbish, which never happened before that.
She appealed for visitors and fishermen to clear up any rubbish.
If anyone sees an animal in distress call the RSPCA on 0300 1234999.
People are advised to stay away from seals, even if they are injured.
An RSPCA spokesman said the charity received over 7,000 calls a year about wildlife, farm animals and pets hurt, trapped or killed by rubbish.
She added: “We urge people to remember that everyday objects pose a real hazard and serious threat when dumped.”