Sea litter causes 'horrific injury' to Norfolk seal

Seal with rope round neck Image copyright David Vyse
Image caption The grey seal was 40kg (88lbs) when she was found and has been named Gypsy

Another seal is being treated for a "horrific necklace" injury caused by discarded litter in the sea.

The RSPCA said the female grey seal was found by volunteers at Somerton, Norfolk, with netting around her neck.

She suffered a 2.5cm (1in) wound and the rope was removed by a vet, the charity said.

Another grey seal left with a deep infected wound caused by a plastic ring around his neck was returned to the sea in early July.

The seal, named Gypsy, is being cared for at the Each Winch Wildlife Centre after being discovered by the Friends of Horsey Seals.

A spokesman for the group said: "We were alerted to a 'necklaced' seal laying on the beach at Somerton, close to Winterton.

"The lone seal was close to the water but we managed to secure her in one of our special seal catching nets.

"The wound was horrific with a deep cut round her entire neck and the nylon strands of rope were still embedded."

Image copyright Friends of Horsey Seals
Image caption Volunteers from said they were able to to secure the seal in one of their special seal catching nets

RSPCA figures show the number of animals affected by plastic litter in England and Wales is at an all-time high.

In Norfolk, the figure rose from 11 to 34 between 2015 and 2018.

Sue Levings, from the wildlife centre, said: "It's really disheartening that only a couple of weeks since we released Sir David, a seal with a similar injury caused by a frisbee, we now have another injured seal.

"The injury has been caused by some kind of rope type netting which has started to disintegrate, but some of the fibres were embedded in her poor neck."

It was caused by "discarded rubbish in our seas", she said.

Gypsy has a "long road to recovery" but she is receiving treatment and is now eating on her own, she added.

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