Seal rescued after getting stuck on top of Second World War pillbox for more than 24 hours

Injured and dehydrated animal stranded in Fraisthorpe, East Yorkshire

Peter Stubley
Saturday 02 March 2019 19:21
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The grey seal had an eye infection and was dehydrated after spending the day in the sun
The grey seal had an eye infection and was dehydrated after spending the day in the sun

An injured grey seal was rescued after spending more than 24 hours stranded on top of a Second World War pillbox.

The animal got stuck on the 10ft-high concrete guard post when the tide went out on Fraisthorpe Beach in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

He was spotted by passers-by who alerted the RSPCA and wrote a message on the sand: “Be aware of the seal.”

“The poor seal was clearly distressed and we could see he had injured his eye,” said Leanne Honess-Heather, an RSPCA animal collection officer.

“Because he had been stuck up there for 24 hours, and had been exposed to the strong sun throughout the heat of the day, he was very dehydrated.”

Ms Honess-Heather said the rescue was challenging because of the size of the pillbox, which is normally covered during high tide.

A warning message was left in the sand until RSPCA officers managed to rescue it

Together with RSPCA deputy chief inspector Claire Mitchell, she first carefully manoeuvred the seal into a net.

The officers then jointly supported his body weight as he was lowered down to the beach.

The grey seal was treated for a slight eye infection before being released

He was taken to the Scarborough Sea Life centre and treated for a slight infection to his eye before being released back into the wild.

Seals are a regular sight on the Yorkshire coast and there is a colony of around 300 common and grey seals just north of Scarborough at Ravenscar.

A week before the pillbox rescue, the Sea Life rescue team was called out after a member of the public spotted a seal on top of the pier at Scarborough’s South Bay.

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Additional reporting by PA

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