‘Enough is enough’: Heartbreaking images reveal a young seal fighting for its life after getting tangled in a discarded fishing net
- Galactica is a juvenile seal who was spotted in distress on a Norfolk beach
- She had got tangled in a fishing net which had ripped into her fleshy neck
- Vets cut away the plastic waste and are treating her deep lacerations
- An adult seal was taken to the same centre last week with similar injuries and sadly died
Heartbreaking footage of a young seal tangled in fishing net reveals the danger that discarded plastic waste poses to wildlife.
The seal, a juvenile called Galactica, sustained serious injuries after fishing rope wrapped around her fleshy neck, causing deep lacerations.
She was spotted in distress on a Norfolk beach and taken to the nearby RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre for specialist care.
Vets are currently trying to nurse her back to health, but injuries caused by fishing nets can be fatal for the animals.
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A seal called Galactica (pictured) sustained serious injuries after fishing rope wrapped around her neck, causing deep lacerations.
Vets are currently trying to nurse Galactica (pictured) back to health, but injuries caused by fishing net can be fatal for the animals
Last week, an adult seal was taken to the same centre for urgent treatment but died not long after arriving.
Alison Charles, manager of the Norfolk centre, said: ‘We admitted an adult seal last week who had been rescued by the Friends group from Horsey with fishing netting tangled tightly around his neck and head.
‘His head was swollen and we later discovered it was full of pus.
‘As we desperately tried to untangle the netting from him he died. It was heartbreaking to see this big, beautiful creature die as we battled to save him.
‘Then, Galactica arrived just a few days later with the same injuries caused by the same culprit: fishing netting. Enough is enough.’
Norfolk is a hotbed for seals, with hundreds seen every year on the beaches of the county.
However, the wildlife is increasingly suffering at the hands of human waste.
Plastic pollution and discarded fishing equipment are a scourge which affects all marine life, from crustaceans to large mammals.
Galactica is now recovering at the centre but is not out of the woods yet.
She is being treated with a course of antibiotics and painkillers after the netting was cut off.
Treatment will then include daily salt baths to clean the wound and encourage healing. The RSPCA estimates it will take for several months before Galactica is able to return to the sea.
Vets had to cut the netting away as quickly as possible. Last week, an adult seal was taken to the same centre for urgent treatment after sustaining similar injuries but died not long after arriving
Norfolk is a hotbed for seals, with hundreds seen every year on the beaches of the county. However, the wildlife is increasingly suffering at the hands of human waste
Galactica is now recovering at the centre but is not out of the woods yet. She is being treated with a course of antibiotics and painkillers after the netting was cut off
Shocking study reveals every one of 50 dead dolphins, seals and whales found washed up on UK coastline were poisoned by plastic
Britain’s seas are now so polluted with plastic that particles were found in the guts of all 50 dead mammals examined in a 2019 study.
Scientists analysed the bodies of dolphins, porpoises, seals and whales found washed up on our shores.
Microplastics less than 5mm in diameter were present in the digestive tracts of every single one.
Most of the particles – 84 per cent – were synthetic fibres which can come from clothes, toothbrushes and fishing nets, with 60 per cent nylon and 10 per cent polyester.
The remainder had broken down from larger objects such as plastic bottles and food packaging.
The lead author of the study called the findings ‘shocking, but not surprising’.
Sarah Nelms, of the University of Exeter, said the number of particles in each animal ‘was relatively low – an average of 5.5 particles per animal’ suggesting they ‘eventually pass through the digestive system or are regurgitated’.
However, she warned: ‘We don’t yet know what effects the microplastics, or the chemicals on and in them, might have on marine mammals.
‘The low number of microplastics in their gut at any one time doesn’t necessarily correlate to the chemical burden within their body because the exposure is chronic and cumulative.
‘It’s also not yet understood how synthetic particles physically interact with the gut wall as they pass through.’