Seal pup saved after horror injury as litter fears worsen
Specialist vets say they are shocked at the increasing number of life-threatening injuries caused by balloons, discarded fishing gear and plastic bags.
In the latest incident an eight-week-old seal pup narrowly escaped death after his neck became tangled in a discarded fishing line.
The pup - nicknamed Ringo by staff at the Highland Seal Hospital in John O'Groats- suffered the injury as he ventured inshore looking for fish.
Hospital manager Jamie Dyer said: "Marine litter and discarded fishing tackle is a real problem. Balloons are also now a big issue as well - we've found a lot in seals' stomachs.
"Discarded plastic bags are a growing problem - turtles eat them thinking they are squid or jellyfish.
"We save about 30 seals a year and some have terrible injuries. Ringo is lucky to have his head still on.
"We are hopeful he can pull through. In addition to the neck wound, which is healing, he also has liver and gall bladder problems. He'll be with us for while."
Ringo was found exhausted and close to death by ferry terminal worker Marion Jack at Gills Bay in Caithness.
He had a gaping 14in wound, 2in wide and nearly 2in deep, just a fraction from his spine.
He was given his name by hospital staff because of the almost circular wound around his neck.
Ringo has been given ultrasound scans, antibiotics and pain-killing injections to help him survive.
Jamie added: "He's very lucky - the wound was close to severing the tendon by his spine. He then would have lost motor control and the ability to keep his head out of the water.
"I have never seen such injuries before where a young seal has survived. The fishing line almost decapitated him.
"But he is making steady progress. The wound is very nasty but hopefully he will recover fully."
Monday, February 28, 2011
LItter Harms Wildlife
This story from the Daily Record in Scotland breaks my heart: