British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (photo: Steve Marsh)
British Divers Marine Rescue

News

2017-12-08 15:42:16

Entangled seal in Outer Hebrides

On the evening of Sunday 26th November 2017 BDMLR medics in the Outer Hebrides received a message from Head Office asking them to be ready at first light on the Monday morning.  Reports had come in to Head Office from a concerned member of the public detailing a badly entangled seal, possibly creel lines on the beach at North Tolsta on the Isle of Lewis.

Area Co-ordinator David Yardley and medic Lyndsey Dubberley responded at first light on the Monday morning making their way to North Tolsta primarily, in an attempt to locate the reported seal.  On arrival at North Tolsta main beach they came across a seal pup which was not entangled but was checked and deemed to be a healthy pup.  With no sign of any entangled seal they then made their way to Traigh Ghioradail, Tolsta, further south along the coastline.  At this point it was still unclear as to whether they were dealing with an adult seal, a pup or both.

Walking the beach at Traigh Ghioradail they came across what looked like a large pile of green netting until it began to attempt to move!  A young Grey seal pup!  The Grey seal pup was completely entangled in the netting and although tired and exhausted still feisty, a good sign!  It was mid tide so the pair had time on their hands.  David managed to contain the feisty seal pup whilst Lyndsey took her knife and began to cut through the huge amount of netting wrapped around the pup.  The netting was completely wrapped around the seal pup, in particular around its neck.  It took Lyndsey more than 15 minutes working constantly to cut the netting free.

A detailed assessment of the seal pup was carried out whilst David had it contained.  Remarkably it had only sustained one minor abrasion to its side and was in a healthy state despite its ordeal.  They released the pup and it made its way straight back into the sea looking rather relieved.

Lyndsey returned to the location the following two mornings and saw the seal pup quite happily feeding in the sea with an adult (possibly Mum) close by.

Happy Days!

This Grey seal pup would most certainly had starved or drowned had it not been for the kind member of the public reporting this seal pup and the intervention of BDMLR.

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