Seal released safely after net incident at Forvie

The grey seal found tangled in a net on a beach at the Forvie reserve.
The grey seal found tangled in a net on a beach at the Forvie reserve.

A stricken seal found tangled in netting on an Aberdeenshire beach has been returned to the sea unharmed.

The Scottish SPCA was alerted by a member of the public who discovered the grey seal on the beach at Forvie National Nature Reserve on Wednesday, January 8.

Officials have praised the woman, who remained until help arrived.

Animal Rescue Officer Karen Hogg, assisted by reserve manager Annabel Drysdale of Scottish Natural Heritage, was able to cut the mammal free and watch him return to the water.

Karen said: “The net was tangled around the seal’s neck and it was so tight that we struggled to even get one finger underneath it.

“Thankfully, the seal lay very still for us while we cut the net away and we were able to free him relatively quickly.

“The net would eventually have cut through his skin, which could have resulted in septicaemia or other infections, so we’re extremely grateful to the lady who alerted us.

“She even stayed with the seal until we arrived which was really kind.”

Karen added: “Once we had removed the net there was a lovely moment when the seal turned to look at us before heading back into the water.

“It was a very happy ending for this seal and I’m so glad we were able to help.”

Anyone who discovers an injured or distressed animal should call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.