Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Young seal found with air filter around his neck
“It is just so heartbreaking to see a wild animal suffer through this and I hope people can get more involved in reducing plastic in the environment.”

Rescued seal learnt to swim on his back to reduce pain

A wild seal is recovering in Norfolk after being found with an air filter stuck around his neck.

The injured young seal, who has been named ‘Relashio’, was spotted off the coast of Burnham Overy Staithe by two local teachers, Sarah Jones and Tracey Johnston.

Authorities were alerted and he was quickly rescued by a volunteer from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue and staff from Sea Life Hunstanton.

Veterinary surgeon Christopher Tansley, of Coastal Veterinary Group, said: “Relashio was immediately brought to us to examine him and then remove the object around his neck.

“The circular plastic piece of air filter had obviously been around the poor animal’s neck for some time as it had cut deep into the fat as he grew in size. We have seen similar injuries in cats before, but we have never seen anything as severe as this in a seal.”

Relashio is now recovering at Sea Life Hunstanton. Staff monitoring him soon realised he had learnt to swim and sleep on his back to help cope with the pain caused by the air filter. He is learning to swim upright again as he mimics other seals at the sanctuary.

Aquarist Nicky Nelson commented: “If he hadn’t been discovered then he would have almost certainly perished a slow and painful death as he continued to grow in size, the wound would have continued to deepen until it stopped him from eating or breathing.

“It is just so heartbreaking to see a wild animal suffer through this and I hope people can get more involved in reducing plastic in the environment.”

Relashio is expected to make a full recovery and could be released back into the wild in the next four weeks.

Image © Sea Life Hunstanton

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

UK a step closer to ivory ban

News Story 1
 A UK ban on ivory sales is one step closer to coming into force, as the government has introduced the Ivory Bill to parliament. The ban covers items of all ages, rather than just ivory carved after 1947. Anyone breaching the ban will face an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail.

Conservationists have welcomed the bill, which comes less than six weeks after the government published the results of a consultation on this issue. Around 55 African elephants are now slaughtered for their ivory every day and the illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth £17 billion a year.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Strategic alliance to support development of agri-food sector

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and Queen’s University Belfast have formed a new strategic alliance that will see both institutions form a research and education partnership.

Under the agreement, the organisations will pool their resources and expertise to support the development of the agri-food sector. It will work across three core themes: enabling innovation, facilitating new ways of working and partnerships.