independent

Monday 16 September 2019

The great escape

Volunteers free young seal and return it to the sea off Hook Head

ELAINE FURLONG

A YOUNG seal was returned to the waters off Hook Head having made its way ashore severely tangled in fishing nets.

Billy and Noreen Colfer were out walking and noticed the distressed seal on Sunday morning and reported the situation to Liam Colfer in Hook Lighthouse.

Deirdre Slevin from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group was contacted and with the help of the Irish Seal Sanctuary and the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary, several volunteers were quickly on the scene to assist the seal.

Fishing nets were tangled around the seal's neck and any time the creature moved the nets got tighter. It is reckoned the pup arrived ashore with the high tide, however when people approached the seal he got more even more aggravated and distressed by the situation.

Volunteers Deirdre Slevin from IWDG, Kevin McCormack and Joe Mahoney, volunteer rescuers with the Irish Seal Sanctuary, and Betty Dempsey from Wexford ISPCA, were among those who arrived to help the pup.

Kevin McCormack restrained the young seal and managed to cut the tightly wound net from around the seal's neck, head and her mouth, before she promptly made her way back to the waters.

In the wake of last Sunday's rescue, the ISS volunteers have advised that if you do come across a seal in trouble please stay well back and alert the Irish Seal Sanctuary and the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary for assistance.

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