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

News

2005-10-30 11:45:59

Second net entangled pup of the season rescued in Cornwall

At about 5pm, Senior Animal Care Assistant Tamara Cooper of the National Seal Sanctuary contacted West Cornwall Coordinator Dave Jarvis regarding a seal that had been spotted at Penberth Cove, not far from Land's End. The person reporting the seal had said it was hauled out on the slipway and was bleeding. Dave sent Medic Lesley Jarvis and myself on ahead while he loaded up the cage and picked up Coordinator Tim Bain from St Ives.

Arriving at dusk, we found the seal resting on the rocks next to the slipway, and is was immediately obvious that it was not the usual exhausted and malnourished pups that we normally get – in contrast it was quite lively. The pup was also discovered to be entangled in a small amount of monofilament fishing net, which was caught around its neck and foreflippers. There was some blood around both foreflippers and a couple of minor injuries on its back. While waiting for Dave and Tim to arrive, we attempted to herd the seal with a towel and fish box on to the slipway to make it easier to jump and cage, with limited success. We managed to get the seal halfway on to the slipway, but then it decided that it didn’t want to move and lay partly inside the fish box. At this point, Dave and Tim arrived with the cage, and between us we managed to coax the seal straight into the cage without jumping it. It was assessed further under a streetlight before being taken to the sanctuary for treatment.

At the Sanctuary, the seal was determined to be a male and weighed in at 23kg. Tamara and Tim carried out a clinical assessment and cleaned his wounds. The fishing net was cut off, revealing a small gash on the side of his neck, which was also cleaned. Due to his temperamental nature, he was named 'Spike'.

We would like to thank the two members of the public who live at Penberth cove for reporting the pup and for their assistance in encouraging the seal on to the slipway.

Pup update 30th October 2100hrs: Despite the best efforts of the Animal Care Team, Elsie Mo, rescued from Godrevy on the 27th, died later this afternoon at around 1630hrs.

Medic Dan Jarvis
BDMLR West Cornwall
(Newquay - Land's End - St Austell)