Seal found with plastic wrapped around neck at beach
- Credit: Amelia List
A seal pup was rescued by medics after becoming trapped in a ring of plastic rubbish at Felixstowe beach over the weekend.
The seal was spotted at around 10am on Saturday near the Mannings amusements by a walker.
The passer-by alerted the Felixstowe Coast Patrol and British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) medics, who arrived and monitored the seal.
They had to wait until the tide went down before they could free the seal from the litter that was stuck around its neck.
Jo Collins, the area coordinator for Suffolk and Norfolk BDLMR, said if the seal pup had been stuck much longer it could have suffered worse injuries.
Luckily, the plastic ring only left a mark around the baby seal's neck but didn't cause any extensive damage. It was able to be released back into the water.
"I have been a medic for 10 years and this is the first year I've been called out to a seal stuck in plastic," said Jo.
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"This is now the second we know of, but luckily this was successful."
Jo said a large group of people stopped to watch the seal, which was struggling in the plastic right on the water's edge.
Felixstowe Coast Patrol helped keep people away from the pup, as the noise was startling it and they didn't want it to retreat back into the water out of fear.
Jo urged passers-by not to go near seals, as they can be very dangerous animals, and to alert the BDMLR or the coast patrol as soon as one is spotted.
Another seal is today being monitored further up the beach in Felixstowe, but again it is too close to the water's edge to be assessed at this time.
Jo said they have teams on hand who are monitoring the seal, as it has been going in and out of the water and appears to be moving away from the water's edge.
The rescues come just a few weeks after another pup came ashore at Felixstowe beach on Sunday, January 24, wrapped in a green fishing net and struggling to move.
A member of the public managed to cut it free and the pup was released into the sea.
However, the marine wildlife charity continues to warn people not to approach potentially dangerous seal pups.