A seal that was described as “nearly dead” by RSPCA staff after getting a plastic frisbee stuck round its neck has been released back into the wild.
The Atlantic grey seal, nicknamed Mrs Frisbee by her rescuers, was discovered in September on Horsey beach in Norfolk.
Wild grey seal who was nicknamed Mrs Frisbee after being found 'emaciated' with a plastic ring cutting into her neck returns to the North Sea pic.twitter.com/ABmqCCxecd— People°s Weather 180 (@peoples_weather) February 22, 2018
She was rescued by volunteers from the Friends of Horsey Seals group, and cared for at the RSPCA’s East Winch Wildlife Centre, near King’s Lynn in Norfolk.
But when the frisbee was removed, she was left with an “awful deep wound” that was “just horrible to see,” according to Alison Charles, the centre manager, who said she hadn’t seen an injury like that for over 20 years of working with seals.
The seal was also emaciated, having been unable to eat because of the frisbee as it tightened round her neck as she grew. Staff think she had been stuck in the frisbee for around six months before she was discovered.
“It’s a minor miracle, she’s done incredibly well,” added Charles. “But it’s a lot of hard work from a lot of people getting her fit and healthy.”
The wonderful moment Frisbee, the seal who recovered from having a plastic frisbee wrapped round her neck, returns to the sea. @RSPCA_official staff didn’t think she’d survive after she was rescued last September. @itvnewspic.twitter.com/Fj0HJE3AL8— Ben Chapman (@BenChapmanITV) February 21, 2018
“It is heartbreaking to think that this could have been prevented if people just took extra care with their litter on the coastline,” she said.
The seal was released back into the North Sea on Wednesday to rejoin her colony.
“It’s taken a long, long time but she’s finally come good,” said Charles. “She’s got a heck of a scar on her because of how extensive her injury was but she’s brilliant.”
The seal was cared for with antibiotics, painkillers, and steroids, and got through 100kg of salts a day throughout her recovery. And, with the help of mackerel, she also managed some serious weight gain — going from 67kg (10 stone 7lbs) when she was discovered, to 180kg (28 stone 4lbs) when she was freed.
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Charles said that, as seals are naturally inquisitive, the seal probably saw the frisbee in the water and got stuck when she went over to investigate.
“Over the months she has grown and as a result, it has become more and more embedded in her neck and it is likely that towards the end it would have been restricting her from eating and drinking,” she said.
Remember Frisbee the seal? She was lucky to be alive after a yellow toy became stuck around her neck, causing horrific injuries. But thanks to months of care from the team at our #EastWinch Wildlife Centre, yesterday she was ready to go back to the wild! 🌊 pic.twitter.com/EU80YqLuHp— RSPCA (England & Wales) (@RSPCA_official) February 22, 2018
This was reportedly the second seal freed from a frisbee by the charity within a month.
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