An appeal has been launched to try and save a Cornish seal pup from a possible fatal net entanglement.

A grey seal pup has been spotted at Godrevy, near Hayle, with green nylon netting around its neck. The sighting has prompted the National Seal Sanctuary at Gweek to urge anyone living or visiting the coastline in the area to contact them urgently if they spot the seal hauled out, so they can launch a rescue attempt.

"We've had at least 20 calls in the last couple of weeks about this same pup," said the Sanctuary's Rachael Vine.

"There's a breeding colony in the area and we have to be careful not to disturb it too much, but there's a good chance this pup will eventually haul out on its own, and when it does we might be able to catch it."
Net tangled seal pup - Photo copyright of Sue Sayer of the Cornwall Seal Group
Around 10-per-cent of the casualties dealt with by the Sanctuary every winter are pups bearing injuries from netting or entangled in marine litter.

"Any entanglement is nasty because the net just cuts through the skin and blubber as the pup grows, and when it is tangled round its neck this can eventually prove fatal," said Rachael.

"Those that we rescue are the lucky ones, and some of them have come to us with truly appalling wounds."

The Sanctuary hopes to enlist the aid of volunteers from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue organisation, who are helping us to keep an eye out for the seal.

"There are obviously lots of people now keeping an eye out for this pup, so we're reasonably confident that someone will see it at the opportune moment and give us a call."

The number they should use if they do is 01326 221361.
Issued by The National Seal Sanctuary
For more details, please contact Rachael Vine on 01326 221361
Press Release date: 26th February 2008
Photo supplied by the Cornwall Seal Group

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