Earlier this week, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA (CoGH SPCA) was alerted to a juvenile seal with a sizeable neck wound in need of help in Scarborough and they immediately set out on a rescue mission.

On Monday, December 9, the CoGH SPCA Wildlife department arrived on the scene at Misty Cliffs in Scarborough. Wildlife Inspector Edward Julius and Trainee Field Offer Aldine Soutter assessed the juvenile Cape Fur Seal who was in a healthy condition aside from a deep wound circling his neck which was caused by an embedded fishing line.

The juvenile Cape Fur Seal being assessed.

“It wasn’t an easy task for Edward and Aldine but courage and determination soon saw Samuel the seal being safely transported back to the SPCA Animal Hospital for treatment,” said the SPCA on their Facebook page.

The wound was then cleaned and the embedded fishing line successfully removed, taking skill, speed and careful hands. To the staff’s delight the wound had not extended to the deeper muscle tissue and antibiotics were administered to guard against infection.

The little seal being transported.

Thanks to the quick reports from locals and dedicated work from SPCA staff, the seal, affectionately nicknamed Samuel, was released back into his natural environment after overnight care.

“Samuel stayed overnight at our Wildlife Short Term Care Facility to recover and rest before he was released back into his natural habitat the following morning. Watching Samuel survey his vast ocean home and slowly but very determinedly make his way back into the sea was a magnificent moment to be a part of and one that really touched our hearts.”

While this story had a happy ending, not all of this kind do and Samuel is one of the lucky few that escaped the grips of human pollution alive.

“Wild animals are so vulnerable to the actions of their human neighbours but we can ensure their protection if we choose to make the choices that protect our natural world. This incident is just sadly one of many similar reports where our Wildlife Inspectors have witnessed the effects of human pollution on our precious wildlife. Seals are at great risk of being caught in fishing lines; consuming plastic bags or being otherwise injured by human debris. Please do your part in helping to keep our sea-life safe from harm and pick up any litter you see lying around our beaches and harbours,” said the SPCA in their Facebook post about Samuel.

If you witness any sea mammals or birdlife in distress please contact the CoGH SPCA Wildlife Department on 021 700 4158/9 or after-hours on 083 326 1604.

Pictures: Facebook/Cape of Good Hope SPCA

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