Warning to stay away from seals

A MARINE animal expert has today warned of the dangers of approaching seals following several sightings in the area.

A MARINE animal expert has today warned of the dangers of approaching seals following several sightings in the area.

The warning from Tony Wooderson from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, based in Woodbridge, comes from first hand experience after he was bitten by a seal last weekend and had to receive hospital treatment.

The Evening Star reported last week how 11-year-old George Ellis and his father, Ian Wilson, from Kesgrave, came across a common seal pup on the beach at Bawdsey Quay.

The seal, which appeared undernourished, lay still as George had his picture taken next to it. It remained in the same spot for several hours until Mr Wilson went closer to it, prompting it to scurry back into the sea.


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Mr Wooderson issued a reminder to the public that it pays to be cautious in such situations.

He said: “They may look cute but they are wild animals. Try Googling 'seal bites' and the first thing that comes up is a seal biting off a woman's nose.

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“I got bitten on the hand when trying to rescue a seal at Sizewell. It really hurt at the time as it latches on and doesn't want to let go. I needed hospital treatment, special antibiotics, and a jab. The seal had a lungworm infection and is now undergoing rehabilitation.

“The trouble is if it is ill, it will let you go quite close. It is best not to get too close unless trained in seal handling. I knew what I was doing and was trying to rescue it, but it still bit me.”

Untreated, seal bites can develop into a number of illnesses, including septic arthritis.

As well as the sightings at Bawdsey and Sizewell, there have also been seals seen in Felixstowe, Aldeburgh.

Have you seen a seal in the region? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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