A common seal in the River Thames with a fishing hook lodged in its muzzle was the latest casualty rescued by a team from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR).
The seal was first reported to BDMLR on their hotline on Monday 15 February, after concerned residents had seen the animal in Teddington Lock and saw it was struggling to eat its catch with an obstruction hanging from the edge of its mouth.
By Wednesday, BDMLR was still getting regular calls and, as it seemed increasingly unlikely that the hook was going to fall out on its own, a plan was put in motion to catch the seal and remove it. Thankfully, the seal was turning up the lock on a daily basis, and the lock keepers were fairly certain they would be able to close the gates with the seal inside.
On Friday evening, BDMLR got word that the seal was there, and on Saturday a team of Marine Mammal Medics and a vet were on site with nets, inflatable boats, the lock dimensions and a fairly solid idea of how they would carry out the rescue.