The animal was spotted in distress in Felixstowe, Suffolk (Picture: Ian Pope/Everything Felixstowe/SWNS)
A member of the public saved a choking seal that had been tangled in netting for at least 30 hours off the coast of Suffolk
The animal was seen struggling on the shore in Felixstowe on Saturday morning, when its neck was caught in discarded green material thought to be used for fishing.
A member of the public phoned the RSPCA after becoming distressed by the scene, but when volunteers from the marine charity British Divers Marine Life Rescue arrived the mammal had gone too far back out to sea to be helped. Heart-breaking images show the seal struggling in the large net, which covered most of its body.
However, the distressed seal reappeared on the beach on Sunday afternoon, and before it returned to the sea, a member of the public covered it with a blanket and cut it free.
Onlooker Ian Pope, 49, explained: ‘I was out for a walk on Saturday morning, I am a photographer so had my wildlife set up with me and came across the rescuers looking for the seal.
‘I spotted it and kept my distance to let the rescuers do their job but it was made difficult by the public going on the beach and scaring the seal back out to sea.
He continued: ‘Luckily on Sunday the seal came back to shore and was rescued.
The seal was first spotted on Saturday (Picture: Ian Pope/Everything Felixstowe/SWNS)
It returned to the beach on Sunday and was set free (Picture: Ian Pope/Everything Felixstowe/SWNS)
It was struggling to work itself free of the netting (Picture: Ian Pope/Everything Felixstowe/SWNS)
The green netting covered most of the animal’s body (Picture: Ian Pope/Everything Felixstowe/SWNS)
‘That’s the best result you can ask for.’
A video of the seal galloping back to sea after being cut free was uploaded on social media with locals praising volunteers’ efforts.
Facebook user Lynn Murphy wrote: ‘I’m so pleased this beautiful seal has been saved.’
Millie Minns added: ‘Great news well done all those involved your heroes. Again our world impacts on innocent wildlife.’
British Divers Marine Life Rescue has been contacted for comment.
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