A severely malnourished seal has been rescued after it was found trapped between large rocks and entangled in a discarded fishing net.
The Lands End Coast Rescue team were called to the Gwyner beach, in Cornwall, at 3.20pm on Wednesday to assist the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) who were already trying to free the seal.
The animal had a “horrendous” wound to her neck where she had been wrapped in fishing wire.
A number of BDMLR volunteers and seven coastguard team members banded together in a bid to rescue the animal with rope hoists before the incoming tide drowned her.
Once she was freed the seal was carried in a rescue bag to the beach and driven to the BDMLR Cornwall Seal Hospital.
The seal was first spotted by Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust with fishing wire stuck around her neck in December 2018.
Since then her growth has been significantly stunted as rescue teams were unable to capture her and remove the wire.
BDMLR coordinator Dan Jarvis, said: “Unfortunately as many of these sites are completely inaccessible she has never been able to be rescued previously, so it is fantastic to know that she has now been freed and is in safe hands after two years waiting for an opportunity.
“It also helps us age her at a minimum for 4 and a half years old, meaning that at her rescue weight of just 44kg she is severely malnourished and less than half the size she should be.”
The team have named the seal Hattie Jacques, he added.
The next 48 - 72 hours are said to “critical” for Hattie’s recovery and the team have their “fingers crossed that she will pull through her traumatic experience.”