Distressing video shows common item choking seal

Nadine Carroll
·2-min read

A distressing rescue video of a seal shows how a common party decoration could end up killing wildlife.

The Ocean Conservation Namibia (OCN) released footage of a cape fur seal that was spotted on the Namibian coast with what appears to be a white string around its neck.

Naude and Denzil, from the OCN, managed to capture the seal, surrounded by hundreds of others on the beach, using a net.

On closer inspection, the pair realised the string was a ribbon tied to a burst latex balloon wound tightly around the seal’s neck.

The Ocean Conservation Namibia capture a seal with a white strong around it's neck (left), on closer inspection they find it is a party balloon with a strong attacked (right)
The Ocean Conservation Namibia released footage of a cape fur seal that was spotted on the Namibian coast with a white string around its neck. Source: Facebook/Ocean Conservation Namibia

The ribbon was so tight, the pair had to use a hook to cut through it before they could remove it and released the seal back to the pod.

“The ribbon was extremely tight around his neck, and because it is quite a strong material with zero stretch, it would have started damaging the poor animal soon,” OCN wrote on their Facebook page.

After the seal is released, one of the rescuers can be seen holding up the ribbon to show how strong it is and asks if the common celebration decoration is worth the consequence.

“Party balloon, birthday party, wedding or something... really strong plastic, not biodegradable in any way. I don’t need to mention the balloon,” he says with frustration.

“Is it really worth a little thing floating in the sky when you look at what the damage could be from something like this?”

The group dedicated to untangling marine wildlife along the Namibian coast said they were lucky they were able to spot the seal and remove the ribbon before it began cutting into its neck.

“This balloon was obviously lost/released/discarded without any thought of the potential consequences. These party favourites are sadly responsible for thousands of sea life deaths every year,” OCN added.

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