York & North Yorkshire

Seal with a flying ring around its neck rescued near Scarborough

Seal with frisbee around its neck Image copyright Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary
Image caption The toy had to be cut from the seal's neck before it returned to the sea

A seal spotted with a flying ring stuck around its neck has been rescued off the coast of North Yorkshire.

The RSPCA was alerted to the harbour seal on rocks at the bottom of a 60m (200ft) cliff at Ravenscar on Tuesday.

The team, helped by staff from Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary, managed to pin the bull seal down and cut the plastic ring off his neck.

Lyndsey Crawford-Darwell, curator of the sanctuary, said it was "almost cheese-grated into his neck".

After making sure the wound was not infected, the animal was released back into the sea.

More stories from around Yorkshire

Ms Crawford-Darwell added: "We get calls every day about seals... but when we get a call from the RSPCA to go down a dangerous cliff top we know it will be a juicy rescue.

"We sent three people with the RSPCA animal care team - purely for muscle.

Image copyright Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary
Image caption Rescuers held the seal in a safety harness while they cut him free

"When the guys got there it was about a 120kg seal which is pretty big. It took all three of them to pin him down."

She said the two to three-year-old bull must have got the bright yellow ring over its head when it was younger and it had wedged into its neck as it had grown.

She said it was quite "feisty and angry" but did not need recuperation at the sanctuary hospital.

"The area was cleaned up and we made sure it wasn't infected and we thought it would heal nicely on its own, so we let him go and he moved off straight away.

"To see the relief on his face was quite a moment."

Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary runs a small seal hospital which treats about 30 seals a year. These are of two species - the harbour seal which is born in summer and the grey seal which is born in winter.

Image copyright Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary
Image caption The ring had made a cut into the seal's neck but the wound was not infected

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites