“A very lucky selkie indeed” – Rescuers free seal from nets

Rescuing a young seal from a stranded net on the shore has once again highlighted the dangers of marine litter to wildlife.

Bronagh Goodlad was walking her Basset Pudding on the beach at Wester Quarff on Tuesday when they came across the tangled puppy.

Unable to free the distressed creature, she called for help Ailish Parham, who lives nearby.

Although they managed to cut much of the fillet, a narrow section around the puppy’s neck proved too difficult to move.

After calling Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary for advice, owners Jan and Pete Bevington asked experts Ryan and Sara Leith for help.

Mr Leith, an experienced diver who has assisted the sanctuary with rescues in the past, said the seal is clearly in distress.

“He couldn’t move and was totally wrapped in a huge piece of net,” he said.

“It wasn’t going anywhere, for sure.”

Mr. Leith covered the seal’s head and teeth with a towel, while his wife cut the rest of the fillet.

Finally free, the seal slipped into the sea, apparently unscathed from its ordeal.

Mr Leith, an award-winning photographer, warned that seals can be dangerous and should not be approached except by experts.

“They are wild animals and a bite can be quite serious,” he said.

“If anyone encounters a seal, they shouldn’t try to free it themselves – they’d better call for help.

“You wouldn’t want to be dealing with the business end of one. “

After seeing the seal move away, they hauled the offending net up onto the beach to remove it.

The rescue is just the latest encounter highlighting the dangers of fishing gear thrown at wildlife.

Mr Leith, who is a port controller at the Lerwick Port Authority, said this was a persistent problem.

Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary thanked the rescuers for their team efforts to save the life of the young seal.

“A very lucky selkie indeed,” the shrine said.

“Far too many of our sea creatures never manage to free themselves from these floating death traps and suffer terribly.

“All the more reason for all of us to focus our efforts on keeping our shore as clear as possible of debris whenever we encounter it.” “

Ms Goodlad added: “I’m glad we found it and it’s okay now.”

About Nell Love

Check Also

Tales of 5 Orlando Roller Coasters

Central Florida is on a roll with its coasters. Epcot’s new Guardians of the Galaxy: …