Surgery removes more than one metre of fishing line from seal pup

After seeing a young seal in distress, a Kalk Bay harbour tour guide called the SPCA. The seal was struggling to swim and since fishing line was wrapped around one of his flippers, he had no use of the entangled limb.
Wildlife Department Supervisor, Inspector Jon Friedman went to the rescue.
“When we got the young seal out of the water and started cutting away the line wrapped around his flipper, I knew this wasn’t going to be a straightforward rescue,” said Inspector Friedman.
After gently placing the pup in a blanket and secure transport box, Inspector Friedman headed to the SPCA for X-rays and possible surgery. On the theatre table, the attending veterinarians were puzzled.
“We had expected to find a fishing hook or two embedded below the skin, but the X-rays showed no hooks, just lots of fishing line wrapped around the flipper (“shoulder”) joint,” explained Inspector Friedman.

After almost an hour in theatre, one and a half metres of fishing line had been removed and the seal’s wound had been thoroughly cleaned. He was given a course of antibiotics, vitamins, probiotics, pain medication, good food and warm rest. One week later, having regained movement in the flipper, he was ready to go home – back to the sea.

Discarded fishing gear is a threat to all marine life. The SPCA urges all fishermen to take their fishing tackle home or to dispose of it properly.

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