Seal dies and another fighting for life with fishing net injuries
PUBLISHED: 11:19 29 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:48 29 May 2020
One seal has died and another is fighting for her life after becoming trapped in fishing nets off the Norfolk coast.
Friends of Horsey Seals rescued two seals from Horsey beach last week, which were seen with blue plastic netting tangled tightly around their necks.
Juvenile grey seal Galactica was rescued on Sunday, May 24, and is now with the RSPCA, which is battling to save her life at the East Winch Wildlife Centre in King’s Lynn.
Manager Alison Charles said: “We admitted an adult seal last week who had fishing netting tangled tightly around his neck and head. His head was swollen and we later discovered it was full of pus.
“As we desperately tried to untangle the netting from him he died. It was heartbreaking to see this big, beautiful creature die as we battled to save him.
“Then, Galactica arrived just a few days later with the same injuries caused by the same culprit: fishing netting. Enough is enough.”
Galactica is the third seal to be admitted this year and the 56th taken in by the Norfolk centre since 2008, with Ms Charles stressing that the issue “isn’t going away”.
In fact, last year was the worse on record, with 11 seals arriving at the centre with similar injuries.
She said: “Plastic and fishing litter are a silent killer for these beautiful animals. Seals are inquisitive creatures who can easily become tangled or trapped as they search for food.
“Netting quickly weighs them down, makes it hard for them to swim and embeds into their flesh causing horrendous injuries and infection.”
Just last week, volunteers removed 420m sq of netting from Waxham Beach after three large nets washed up on the shoreline.
In Galactica’s case, a vet removed the netting which cut deeply into her flesh. She is now on painkillers, antibiotics and a routine of daily salt baths to help the wound heal.
But this process is expensive.
Galactica will require at least four 25kg bags of salt daily, with each bag costing more than £14.
You can visit the centre’s Amazon Wishlist to donate salt bags and help the RSPCA protect wildlife by calling them on 0300 1234 999 if you see an animal in distress.
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