Danger warning after seal pup rescued from fishing net by member of public
- Credit: Ian Pope
A marine wildlife charity has warned people not to approach potentially dangerous seal pups, after one was rescued from a fishing net by a member of the public.
The pup came ashore at Felixstowe on Sunday, January 24, wrapped up in a green fishing net and struggling to move.
The same pup had been spotted the day before by Felixstowe Coast Patrol and charity British Divers Marine Life Rescue East Anglia (BDMLR).
However, it had slipped back into the water before they could reach it.
When it was sighted again on Sunday, a member of the public managed to cut it free and the pup was released into the sea.
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However, a specialist has warned that approaching seal pups is not a good idea.
Jo Collins, volunteer coordinator for Suffolk and Norfolk, said: "Whilst BDMLR are pleased the seal has now been freed it is dangerous to get between a wild seal and the sea, or to get close.
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"These people were very lucky and anyone seeing an animal like this, either injured or entangled, should seek advice from trained authorities such as BDMLR rather than tackle the animal themselves."
Mrs Collins added that while seal pups may look cute, they have very strong teeth which can cause an infected bite, due to the bacteria in their mouths.
BDMLR is a group of specially-trained volunteers who respond to sightings of seals and other animals in East Anglia.
They take them on to further care from vets, who sometimes keep them in overnight before releasing them and occasionally have to euthanise animals beyond help.