A SEAL rescued from a beach in Walton will need months of care following an "awful" injury caused by litter.

The RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre is caring for the seal, which sustained a horrific injury caused by a plastic bag embedded around his neck.

The seal, named Gnocchi by his rescuers, was saved from the beach at the Naze thanks to the efforts of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue team, who rushed him to the wildlife centre in Norfolk.


Awful - plastic was caught around the seal's neck

When he arrived at the centre he had an awful wound around his neck - and when vets first examined him they weren't quite sure what was causing the injury.

But after the seal was given pain relief and antibiotics they began work on removing the restriction from his neck.


Injured - the seal was found on Walton's Naze beach. Picture: Kevin Tappenden

To their horror they realised it was a black plastic bag, similar to those used as bin liners.

Alison Charles, centre manager, said: “My heart actually sank when I realised this poor seal was suffering as a result of someone’s discarded litter.

“You really think you’ve seen it all and then along comes something new - which inflicts horrific injuries and causes so much damage.

“It seems such an innocuous object - but this small plastic bag has caused untold pain and injury for poor Gnocchi and it makes me so cross because it could have easily been avoided if people disposed of their litter properly.

"We have to do more to stop rubbish ending up in our waters and causing such damage to our precious wildlife.

“Gnocchi is going to need weeks, if not months of care, his injury is very deep and infected."

She said the centre has removed all of the bag from his neck and he’s currently being given pain relief and antibiotics, as well as regular salt baths.


Injured - the seal was found at Walton's Naze beach. Picture: Kevin Tappenden

Alison added: “The trouble with these types of injuries is that the seals get something caught around their neck - but they can’t get them off by themselves and so become trapped in them.

“And as they grow bigger the object then cuts deeper and deeper into their neck - causing these horrendous ‘necklace’ injuries which are sadly becoming more and more common in seals.”

The East Winch Wildlife Centre has launched a fundraiser to help pay for fish to feed the sick, orphaned and injured seals in their care.

To help support the wildlife centre, go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/alison-charles.