New study launched into mysterious seal deaths between Wells and Blakeney

A baby seal pup born days ago in Norfolk. Picture: James Bass

A baby seal pup born days ago in Norfolk. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass © 2015

A number of animals washed up on beaches with unexplained corkscrew-like injuries in 2010 and 2011.

One theory was that they were caused by being struck by ships' propellors. Others included seals attacking each other.

Now scientists from international conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) are investigating possible causes.

Rob Deaville from ZSL said: 'There hasn't been any systematic investigation of seal mortality in most parts of England since 2003, so it's imperative that we gain a greater understanding of the threats these animals currently face in English waters.'

The six-month investigation is being funded by Natural England, the Government's nature conservation agency.

Rebecca Walker, Natural England's marine mammal specialist, said: 'As part of Natural England's role in conserving wildlife, it is vital we improve our understanding of the threats that these iconic marine mammals face.'

The charity is also calling on the public to report sightings of any dead seals via the national strandings hotline on 0800 652 0333 or via e-mail to strandings@zsl.org.

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