WARNING - GRAPHIC IMAGE BELOW
Her name is Earth - and it couldn’t be any more poignant with the current global concern of litter in our seas and oceans.
This injured grey seal was rescued in a sorry state by Natureland in Skegness after being spotted by a warden at Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve.
The creature had fishing line bound around her neck so tightly it sliced into her blubber a couple of inches deep.
Rescuer Matt Yeadon from Natureland said the animal didn’t even attempt to move away from him when he and colleague Max Ellis approached her.
“The seal actually came towards me which is unheard of as they usually run the other way,” said Matt. “I can only assume she knew we were there to help her.”
The animal, which is thought to only be around seven months-old, would have got the fishing line tangled around her neck as a small cub – with it cutting into her neck as she grew.
“If she had not been found, she would almost certainly have died as the wire would have got tighter and tighter and either choked her or stopped her eating,” said Matt.
“This is the worst case I have seen – and it makes you wonder how many other seals out there in a similar situation are never found in time.”
Fortunately, staff at Natureland were able to remove the fishing line and treat the wound - and now say she is making ‘remarkable progress’.
“The wound is still open but it is clean and healing, and she is far happier and more energetic,” said Matt. “She is now outside in the hospital pool eating lots of fish and bathing the wound in fresh salt water to aid the healing process. We have high hopes she will be released back into the wild once the wound has fully healed.”
The rescue, which took place at the end of May, has sparked a fresh appeal by Natureland for people to dispose of their waste responsibly.
“Recycle when you can, and avoid littering at all costs, as it could cost an animal more than a neck wound ,” said Matt.
He added: “Working together, we can make this world a cleaner, healthier, and safer place to live, for humans and animals alike.”