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

News

2010-06-16 09:55:00

Felixstowe Seal

Felixstowe Seal (Photo: Bex Smith)I received the initial call at 10.49 from Clacton and Suffolk co-ordinator Emma Webb, the out of hours co-ordinator for the weekend, after a local beach hut owner made the call reporting an injured seal on the beach.

As it happened there were already a number of medics assembled in Maldon as we had a stand at the 999 Emergency Services Day in Promenade Park. Four of us (Thames Co-ordinator Simon Duke, Jo Cahill, Bex Smith and myself) made our way to Felixstowe with a stop to pick up the seal kennel, and were greeted by the local PCSO at Cobbolds Point. The RSPCA were also on route, but were stood down when we arrived. Making our way down to the beach we discovered a juvenile common seal (Phoca vitulina) on the beach above the tide line. The animal had blood around the jaw and right ear, was bleeding from its anus, and had a wound on the left side of the body just behind the front flipper.

The decision to try and jump the seal was made and Simon and I sneaked around the back and jumped on the animal. Although it made no attempt to run on our approach, once we had jumped it he became quite feisty and agitated, attempting to bite us on several occasions. As the animal was too heavy and strong to be manhandled into the kennel we released it from our grip. Whilst deciding on a new strategy the seal began slowly making its way towards the tide, so Jo and Bex used the bottom half of the seal kennel to block its path, and Simon and I used the top half of the kennel to encase the seal in the kennel.

Simon and Jo then transported the animal to RSPCA East Winch. Latest report is that 'Asbo' is being treated for lungworm, weight is 21.2kgs, and should be around 29kgs for its age which they estimate to be around 1 year at the most.

Many thanks to Thames Co-ordinator Simon Duke, Jo Cahill, Bex Smith, Graham Jackson the vet who came out and we sadly missed as he arrived after the seal was en route to East Winch, the local PCSO and the local residents of the beach huts for calling it in.

Andrew Boulden
Assistant Co-ordinator Clacton and Suffolk