an unhappy seal^

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raybaxter
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an unhappy seal^

Post by raybaxter » Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:30 pm

Paddling past tynemouth piers we found this grey seal trapped in fishing line and rope. A sorry site ! It wasn't a happy pup and became very grumpy as we approached it with a knife.

All ended well and the seal swam off.


Image

Goldspoon
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Post by Goldspoon » Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:37 pm

Well done guys :-)

CaileanMac
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Post by CaileanMac » Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:32 am

No wonder the seal was grumpy given the size of the knive (!) but seals can't be chosey when it comes be being released in a timely fashion. As Goldspoon put it 'well done'.

However sea anglers dumping their tackle and line need to have the experience of being tangled up in fishing line and trying to swim at the same time, which might make them think twice about polluting the seas with their garbage in the first place!

CaileanMac

Goldspoon
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Post by Goldspoon » Tue Feb 14, 2006 9:42 am

EXCLUSIVE! WE GOT THERE FIRST!

Helmeted thugs filmed in seal attack!

Seal trussed up and threatened with big knife!

Seals riot for three nights in a row... Minky whales off Skye attack boat... 5 million Mackerel on their way up the Thames in mass protest

Catch these humans now!

But are the pictures real?

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tpage
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Post by tpage » Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:10 am

Good rescue guys.

A couple of years back I found a young common seal bobbing around, half drowning in the middle of Loch Craignish. He had a propellor cut on its tail - it didnt look too bad but he couldnt swim properly. The sea gulls were beginning to have a go at him. There were no other seals in the area so I lifted him onto my deck and paddled to the nearest Island then I transferred him to the back hatch (Large square hole in the Capella) and paddled him to Crinan. He settled into the trip and seemed to perk up alot. I then took him by car to Lochgilphead vet. They assessed him and agreed that I had done the right thing. They later sent him up to the sea life centre at Oban. But unfortunately he later had to be put down! To bad, but a least he didnt get his eyes pecked out by the gulls.

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Tue Feb 14, 2006 4:20 pm

By the looks of that stuff it's flotsam from a fishing boat rather than anglers discarded lines! All that floating rope ends up back on the shore eventually, usually somehwere remote and otherwise unspoilt!

Tony, your rescue sounds most impressive! Must have been a day trip - I'd never have space for a seal in/on my boat when away for a week!

JIM

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Dunter
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Post by Dunter » Tue Feb 14, 2006 4:37 pm

Well done on rescuing the pup but for future seal rescuers (and for the guys involved in this rescue) be aware that there is a rather nasty infection which can be caught from seals through bites or scratches. It's known as seal finger and can be pretty serious, resulting in chronically damaged fingers or limbs and even amputation.

Most doctors tend to be unaware of this infection and so either misdiagnose it or prescribe ineffective antibiotics. Delays in treatment can result in problems mentioned above.

The initial symptom is a swollen finger or hand but do a google search for more information on it. I would advise anyone who ever handles a seal and thinks they may have this infection to get to a doctor quickly and to mention that you have handled seals. If they have no knowledge of the condition make them look it up or even take information with you to help them (though obviously many doctors don't like being told their job so do this tactfully).

Obviously if you need to handle a seal as in this case it would be advisable to wear thick gloves if available.

raybaxter
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handling a seal

Post by raybaxter » Tue Feb 14, 2006 9:04 pm

You raise a good question.

how should a seal be handled?

After observing its snarl, hiss and sharp teeth, we thought distance was the best plan. We considered, holding the neck of the pup down, while cutting away the rope etc. Neither of us volunteered! Has anyone tried this? Is there a way of immobilising a seal without getting bitten?

Ray

Mudflap
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seal launch

Post by Mudflap » Tue Feb 14, 2006 10:20 pm

Mike B if you are there ........ echos of Weil’s disease horror stories here, somthing for the almanack, Me thinks.

I am sure the informed will post more information for the rest of us.

Steve

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CaptainSensible
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Post by CaptainSensible » Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:50 pm

For tagging/research etc., seals are usually immobilised by pulling a bag with a small amount of volatile anaesthetic inside over their heads.

Most seal sanctuary websites have articles about force-feeding weakened seals. Brute-force seems to be the technique: roll seal onto its front and straddle its back before grabbing its neck and applying enough pressure/grip to convince it that you are the boss.

There is a picture of this on the BDMLR's training page - note use of a blanket/towel to cover the beastie's eyes and calm it down. The BDMLR manual presumably has more detailed description of seal handling techniques, but the .pdf version is password locked and you have to email them (stating name and purpose/intentions etc.) to get the password.

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tpage
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Re: handling a seal

Post by tpage » Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:00 am

raybaxter wrote:You raise a good question.

how should a seal be handled?

After observing its snarl, hiss and sharp teeth, we thought distance was the best plan. We considered, holding the neck of the pup down, while cutting away the rope etc. Neither of us volunteered! Has anyone tried this? Is there a way of immobilising a seal without getting bitten?

Ray
The seal I handled was very small, about 2.5 foot long. It was early July and since common seals pup in May Im guessing he was only 3 mths old. He was happy to be lifted onto the deck. However when I got him to an island to transfer him to the hatch he perked up and hissed and tried to bite. I let him gnaw on the handle of my hand pump while lifting him in. The pump still has the bite marks. I dont think I would like to tackle one as big as pictured above.
I would guess the best advice would be to distract the teeth, wear thick gloves and watch out for the mycoplasma!

Yes Jim, The boat was empty. Wife supported trip of the West Coast. Tony

Bunty Hargreaves
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Post by Bunty Hargreaves » Wed Feb 15, 2006 11:10 am

How many seal skins do you need to cover a skin-on-frame qajaq?
Bunty

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Erling
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Post by Erling » Wed Feb 15, 2006 12:46 pm

Bunty Hargreaves wrote:How many seal skins do you need to cover a skin-on-frame qajaq?
Got something in mind?
According to P. Scavenius Jensen's great book "THE GREENLAND KAYAK AND ITS ACCESSORIES" it depends both on the seal and the paddler:
Skins of bearded seals are used especially in the Angmagssalik district. These are so big that usually two skins are enough, while four harp seal skins are needed to cover a kayak. Tales about Aron from Kangeq report that he was a tiny man with a kayak so small that it could be covered with three harp seal skins.
The book is available free online here; 8.2 Mb pdf-file:
http://arctickayaks.com/PDF/Jensen1975/ ... 201975.pdf
-or as html-text here:
http://www.arctickayaks.com/PDF/Jensen1975/jensen.htm
(Both English text)
The older I get, the better I used to be.

Bunty Hargreaves
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Post by Bunty Hargreaves » Wed Feb 15, 2006 3:45 pm

Great links! Thanks.

There are some people who would not hesitate to make a deceased seal into some Inuit artefact or other; but I am not one of them.
Bunty

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Wed Feb 15, 2006 4:37 pm

Dunter wrote:Well done on rescuing the pup but for future seal rescuers (and for the guys involved in this rescue) be aware that there is a rather nasty infection which can be caught from seals through bites or scratches. It's known as seal finger and can be pretty serious, resulting in chronically damaged fingers or limbs and even amputation.
Interesting, one of my first thoughts when I saw that photo was some recollection that seals are in some way related to dogs and suffer some similar diseases, like a version of distemper? Now my recollection could be flawed, but suffice to say that extreme caution should be exercised when handling any wild creature, and always seek out medical help if bitten since many have poor dental hygiene and it is often the rotting remains between their teeth which lead to infection in bites. Yuck!

Any Vets on the forum know any more?

JIM

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tpage
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Post by tpage » Wed Feb 15, 2006 5:34 pm

Interesting, one of my first thoughts when I saw that photo was some recollection that seals are in some way related to dogs and suffer some similar diseases, like a version of distemper? Now my recollection could be flawed, but suffice to say that extreme caution should be exercised when handling any wild creature, and always seek out medical help if bitten since many have poor dental hygiene and it is often the rotting remains between their teeth which lead to infection in bites. Yuck!

Any Vets on the forum know any more?

JIM
Phocine Distemper virus and Canine distemper virus are very similar organisms that produce similar disease. Dogs have actually been implicated in setting off outbreaks of seal distemper. It dosnt usually work the other way as most dogs are vaccinated against CDV. PCV and CDV are NOT human infective. The infections transmitted via animal bites are most likely to be tetanus. You should keep up you tetanus shots through adult life.

Poor dental hygeine!- you should smell their breath!

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active4seasons
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Post by active4seasons » Wed Feb 15, 2006 7:12 pm

Well done Ray, glad to hear you are still getting out there, when are you heading up this way?

Out of interest how many other people get involved in the Marine Conservation Society annual beach clean, normally Sep time. I have noticed over the last few years that there has been less rubbish from fishing vessels and large boats using the North Sea - hopefully as a result of the MCS monitoring. Most of the rubbish we found this year was from rivers - coke cans/bottles etc.

Ollie
Developing Desire for Adventure!

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muzz
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Post by muzz » Thu Feb 16, 2006 7:08 pm

I can see that pic appearing in the the tabloid press soon with the title "Evil Kayakers Trap And Butcher Seal".

ianzippy
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Post by ianzippy » Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:11 pm

The advice given to me from Oban sealife centre when i happened upon a seal with a broken flipper/arm (so easy to anthropomorphise the cute little so and so's...) was to approach from the rear with a heavy coat or blanket, jump on it and work towards the head, then cover its eyes to calm it. Once this was achieved, advice was to sandwich it in two fish boxes, tie them together, then transport it like that.
Unfortunately, once i'd got the heavy blanket, it had swum off (presumably in circles?), so i didn't get chance to test the theory.
On a separate occasion, me and a group on a survival course found a beheaded seal and went inuit with some roasted blubber - probably not the wisest meal choice, with added concentrated toxins no doubt, but tasted surprisingly good.
"Love many, Trust few, Learn to paddle your own canoe / kayak (delete as appropriate)"

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:15 pm

Prob an oportune time to post this:



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Jim
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Post by Jim » Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:10 am

10 minutes or so they said - with all the different activities I do on the coast it took me an hour and half!

Thanks Helen, I think!

JIM

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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:00 am

Like Jim, this kept me up late!

This is just the sea kayaking from last year!!
Image

Not to mention other things such as sick and distressed animal rescues. One of my daughters and one of my regular paddling companions are vets. We have rescuedsheep stuck on their backsor in bogs.

We often get delayed by sick razorbill, guillemot chicksetc. However, one animal's misfortune is another's lunch.

Douglas

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