We have thankfully few entangled seals in the South Devon area, but in recent weeks there have been a number of reports to British Divers Marine Life Rescue regarding entangled seals. We have been called out to two of these, both along the Torbay / Dartmouth coastline. If you see this beautiful female seal - please call British Divers Marine Life Rescue immediately and we will do our best for her 01825 765546.
Photo credit: Nigel Smallbones
This particular seal has what we believe to be part of a crab or lobster pot caught around her neck. Obviously she attempted to raid a pot, and got stuck, only breaking free by taking the skirting away - the part which stops the crabs or lobsters leaving the pots once they've gone in. This isn't ideal, and no doubt frustrating for the fisherman, but is all part of the world we have to co-exist in.
Regardless of the scenario, she is entangled and this will be life limiting for her. She appears to be a juvenile female, and therefore is still growing. Like all of us during lockdown, one week a pair of jeans fit, the next you can't do up the zip or buttons. This is the easiest way to describe what for a seal can be a drawn out painful experience with no easy diet to solve the issue. She may look relaxed now, but as she grows she will increasingly be in considerable pain as this band around her neck will only get tighter.
Attempting to rescue seals beyond pup size is very difficult, they are incredibly powerful creatures with immense strength, teeth & wicked claws. They also move faster than you'd like to think, especially when frightened, so this limits what can be done. Please, if you see her, please inform BDMLR or ourselves and we will do our best for her.