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


2007-09-07 10:15:46

Injured Common seal pup in Caithness

Last night Karina Gent received a call to say a common seal was sitting on a slipway at Gills and had been there for some time not moving. Also that the animal had some fairly bad facial injuries. Karina called me and I put the kit in the back of the car picking up Jim Thompson on the way to get Karina. I had phoned the vets to let them know that we where on the way to the animal and depending on its condition we may need to call them out or arrange a visit.

Within 40 minutes of the call we made it to Gills and spotted the seal on the slipway near the ferry office. It was a female common not very old around a meter in length weighing about 9kg. We took a look at the animal through binoculars and decided it was a definite pick up so got a black box out of the car and went to capture the seal.

As we where walking down to the seal Michael Salter arrived and said he had been watching it and that it really didn’t move at all. We put the seal in the black tub with no problems to do an examination, the animal had a bad wound to the eye whereby the eye was hanging loose and the socket was filled with puss. Another wound to the cheek that was showing bone, puncture marks all over its body and the left fore flipper was broken.

We had no option but to take the seal to the vets to be euthanized within 15mins we were with the vet and he put the poor animal out of its misery. He said the injuries looked like it had been attacked by an adult seal. A sad start to the winter season.

Richard Bradley
Assitant Coordinator, Caithness