Rescue launched as seal spotted with frisbee around neck at Newburgh beach

A rescue is to be made on a beach in Aberdeenshire after a seal was spotted with a frisbee entangled around its neck.

One of the visitors to Newburgh beach caught the entangled sea on camera (Photo: Cristan Johnson).
One of the visitors to Newburgh beach caught the entangled sea on camera (Photo: Cristan Johnson).

It is thought the seal at Newburgh Beach on the haul-out on Forvie could have had the frisbee around its neck for months due to the extent of the injury.

Plans from Ythan Seal Watch to rescue the seal have been postponed for when the mammal is alone and not too close to the water's edge.

A spokesperson from Ythan Seal Watch said: “Rescues like this are planned as soon as the Seal is spotted. It is just when we can do it.

"When Seals become ill through infection or being unable to eat and weaken, they tend to isolate themselves away from the colony further up the beach and this is usually when we can get them.”

The seal is located on a protected wildlife reserve area of the beach where it is nesting season for many birds.

Both the SSPCA and British Divers Marine Life Rescue have been made aware of the seal.

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A Scottish SPCA spokesperson said: “We are aware of a seal on Newburgh beach with a frisbee stuck around its neck and are liaising with partners in the area to try and assist it.

“Sadly, we’re seeing more and more instances of sea life being put at risk by products and waste disregarded by humans.”

Ythan Seal Watch is asking that visitors to Newburgh beach continue sending images of the entangled seal so they can monitor it's condition and it's location.

The best time for rescue and helping seals like this is between August and March – the watch group said.

However, for the last two seasons the BDMLR have had to abandon these attempts due to the volume of visitors who ignore the reserves advice and access and disturb the seals illegally.

Visitors accessing and illegally harassing the seals is something that the rescue team is addressing this upcoming season.

The Ythan spokesperson added: “We hope that images like this emphasise the importance of taking your rubbish home with you and the dangers of using frisbees like this on the coast and the benefit that beach cleans have in helping to protect our valuable marine life.

"Prevention is much better than long and drawn out suffering.”

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