A seal who was rescued after being found with a piece of boat rubber piping stuck around her neck has been released back to the wild.
Cruella an adult grey seal, was rescued byFriends of Horsey Seals on March 26 from Horsey Beach in Norfolk and was cared for by the team at the RSPCA’s East Winch Wildlife Centre.
They battled to remove the piping, which is thought to come from a boat, and was embedded in her neck causing a severe infected wound.
She is one of eight seals already this year who have been rescued after being found with entanglements around their neck and have needed specialist care at the East Winch Wildlife Centre.
As with all seals who suffer entanglements she was exhausted and underweight. Once the piping was removed, she was given regular salt baths to help heal the wound as well as antibiotics and anti-inflammatories before building up her strength ready for release.
Cruella has now been released back on to Horsey Beach to rejoin her colony.
Evangelos Achilleos, centre manager said: “We have had a real spate of entangled seals being brought to us after they have been found with items entangled around their neck – it is really worrying how many we have had to help in such a short space of time.
“Cruella’s entanglement was particularly horrific as she had some kind of rubber piping (probably used as a seal for a boat) around her neck and it had cut in causing just the most awful injury.
“It is always touch and go for the first few days with any entangled seal, because once the obstruction is removed a seal can then suffer from the toxins that start to spread in their body.
“We worked hard to save Cruella and she was given so many salt baths – using salt that had been generously donated by the public and we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped as you have helped in Cruella’s rehabilitation.
“We are so incredibly grateful to our supporters who who have been so generous in their donations in helping all the animals in our care. We have just over 50 seals in our care at the moment and five of those have suffered entanglement injuries including Esmeralda who had thick ghost netting on her neck and poor Kanga who had blue nylon netting embedded in her neck. We had another seal called Ursula who came in around the same time as Cruella and she had nylon netting around her neck – we recently released her back to the wild after treating her wounds.
“What is a concern is that a lot of the seals coming in now with entanglements are just pups – this year we have had the most number of entangled pups we have ever had (as they are usually adults) but a lot that have come in are pups under a year old – and this is worrying.”
But he added: “While we don’t want to see these seals injured, we are glad that we can play a part in getting them back to health so they can be released back to the wild.”
Watch Cruella start her journey home below: