The female adult seal, named Wings, was spotted in St Ives harbourprompting members of the public to report her condition to Cornwall’s seal rescue network (Picture: PA)
A seal spotted with a frisbee stuck around its neck in Cornwall has been saved.
Rescuers feared the tight ring could lead to a fatal infection and rushed to St Ives harbour on Sunday.
After one failed rescue attempt, the experts used a cage to temporarily trap the female grey seal, nicknamed Wings, in the harbour and cut off the frisbee.
Dan Jarvis, from British Divers Marine Life Rescue, said: ‘We were all on tenterhooks waiting for the right moment, as it was critical that we didn’t spook her by charging in too soon as if we lost her back into the harbour then we might not get another chance to try this.
‘Luckily, she relaxed and gave us the time we needed to rush in and block off the entrance, which was very difficult to maintain given the strong current washing in and out of the tunnel despite being just under waist depth, and we needed quite a few of us to brace against the boards to maintain the blockade.
‘Obviously she was stressed and looking for a way out, testing the boards for a way under, around or through it, but she did soon notice at the back of the tunnel blocked off on the seaward side by heavy wooden beams – which has a small gap in it – and attempted an escape through that instead.
‘With some quick thinking, we managed to run in and distract her so that she slipped back into the tunnel again, which was a pretty hair-raising moment.’
Wings was promptly returned to the sea to the cheers of watching passers-by.
The experts used a cage to temporarily trap the female grey seal (Picture: PA)
Wings was promptly returned to the sea to the cheers of watching passers-by (Picture: PA)
Tamara Cooper, from the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, added: ‘Saving this seal was a real team effort.
‘We all know how dangerous plastic waste can be for our marine wildlife, but this is just one example of how our local seals can face life or death situations from something as simple as losing a frisbee in the sea.’
Wings is a regular summer visitor to the harbour and is often fed from boats, meaning she was more acclimatised to humans.
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