Air vent filter almost kills seal

Image copyright Sea Lifetime
Image caption The seal would have died the “slow and painful death” because it struggled to eat and breathe

A new seal is having to be taught in order to swim upright, after it grew to become used to swimming on its back again because of a plastic ring stuck close to its neck.

It was spotted off the Norfolk coastline with a deep wound caused by a part of an air vent filter slicing into his flesh.

After treatment, staff at Ocean Life Hunstanton named him Relashio, after a Harry Potter spell.

It is now being taught to imitate other seals and swim within an upright position so it can be launched.

Image copyright Ocean Life
Image caption The seal would just rest and swim on the back when it arrived

The juvenile greyish seal was spotted struggling on Burnham Overy Staithe beach over the north Norfolk coast with a “waste air vent… dangerously trapped about his neck” which would have resulted in “a slow and painful death” had he not been taken care of.

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Relashio was taken to the particular Coastal Veterinary Group, where doctor Christopher Tansley said staff got “never seen anything as serious as this in a seal”.

“The circular plastic piece of air conditioner filter had obviously been around the poor animal’s neck for some time as it had reduce deep into the fat as he increased in size, ” he said.

Image copyright Sea Lifestyle
Image caption The plastic ring was tightening since the seal grew, causing a heavy neck wound

During his recovery in Sea Life Hunstanton, staff observed the seal “had a routine of swimming and resting in the back”.

“We think he may have grown to get used to it as it would have helped to ease the stress on his wound, ” said aquarist Nicky Nelson.

Right after several weeks of recuperation and going swimming lessons, Relashio is “slowly learning how to swim upright as he mimics behavior of other seals in the sanctuary’s convalescent pool and is expected to create a full recovery”, she added.

Image copyright Sea Existence
Image caption Relashio has lessons to help your pet learn how to swim like a proper close off