Seal Survives 40 Pounds Of Entanglement
The Cape Cod Stranding Network, a Project of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (CCSN-IFAW) and the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS) disentangled a 600 lb gray seal that was swimming just offshore of Nauset Beach in Orleans today. The adult male seal was entangled in approximately 40 lbs of heavy netting of unidentified origin that trailed seven feet down the length of the animal. The team was able to attach a line to the entangling gear and bring the animal to shore for an examination and disentanglement. The seal was thin and suffered from lacerations around the neck and front and rear flippers, but was deemed healthy, disentangled completely, and released immediately back to the water. The collaborative animal rescue team was also assisted by the Nauset Beach Lifeguards and the Orleans Fire and Rescue Department, who provided the use of their inflatable boat and staff to facilitate the capture of the animal.
Gray seals are seen on Cape Cod throughout the year, congregating mostly on the beaches and sandbars of Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, and the Outer Cape. They are dangerous wild animals that are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and should never be approached closer than 150ft. Violation of the MMPA can result in federal criminal prosecution. If you see an entangled seal or other marine mammal in distress on shore or in near shore waters, please call the Cape Cod Stranding Network HOTLINE at 508-743-9548.