A seal rescued by us from a marina in Suffolk last week has sadly died after a fish hook was found in his stomach.

X-ray of seal showing hook © RSPCAThe male common seal was spotted at Beccles quay – about 10 miles inland – in an underweight, lethargic and disorientated state.

After a couple of attempts at rescue, a team of four of our inspectors succeeded in catching the large mammal and putting him on a stretcher on Wednesday (6 November) so he could be taken to our East Winch Wildlife Centre in Norfolk for care.

He was then examined by a specialist vet and an X-Ray found that there was a large hook in his stomach. He was fed and treated for a few days to strengthen him up, but sadly despite the best of care the poorly mammal died when he was under anaesthesia having the hook removed.

It is likely the seal was caught by accident

Alison Charles, manager at East Winch, said:

“It was incredibly sad for us that this seal did not make it. We really did all we could to save him.


“Surgery always comes with risks for animals, but it was necessary in this instance. This hook had to be removed from his stomach.


“It is not uncommon for seals to venture up rivers away from the sea and they can normally make their own way back, but in this case the seal was clearly unwell, and our inspectors did the right thing by bringing him in to be checked over and looked after by us.”

It is not thought the injury was caused by discarded fishing litter, but more likely that the seal was caught accidentally by an angler attempting to catch a fish.

Find out more about the dangers of litter, including fishing litter, to animals.

We can’t do it without you

We can only carry out rescues like this with your help.  Please donate online or text HERO to 88010 to give £3 (texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).