A STRANDED seal has been returned safely back to sea after being found helplessly entangled in netting on an Aberdeenshire beach.
The male grey seal was rescued by officers from the Scottish SPCA after the animal welfare charity was alerted to the plight of the mammal by a member of the public who spotted the seal stranded on the beach at the Forvie National Nature Reserve near Ellon on Wednesday.
Animal Rescue Officer Karen Hogg, assisted by reserve manager Annabel Drysdale of Scottish Natural Heritage, managed to cut the seal free and return him to the water.
Ms Hogg explained: “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.”
She 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.”