Norfolk seal pup released after three hour rescue by volunteers

  • Watch how the volunteers managed to release the seal pup

A lengthy rescue operation ended with success when a group of volunteers managed to save a trapped seal pup.

It had become trapped in a hole at Waxham, Norfolk on Monday.

The team from the Friends of Horsey Seals group were called in to help, and recorded the rescue attempt on video. It took them three hours to free the seal, using rope and a lot of perseverance.

After the pup was freed, one of the volunteers can be heard on the video saying: "We've got to get the rope off now!"

Another replies: "That's the easy bit!"

Sally Butler, one of the volunteers, said the seal was "absolutely stuck" when they got the beach.

They had to use ropes and a lot of ingenuity to release the pup, which had become agitated and was lashing out.

"You can not train for this type of situation. We had to put our arms down the hole and feel our way around to get the rope around the seal to try to pull it out," she said.

"It was such a confined area, you just could not see what you were doing," she added.

Ms Butler described the pup as "pretty ferocious", with it lashing out and taking a chunk out of her glove while they were trying to rescue it.

In a social media post, the volunteer group described it as "a cheerful story".

"It was not an easy job but thanks to the persistence of Peter Ansell, Sally Butler and other helpers there was a happy ending," it added.

Freedom! The seal pup takes off after its ordeal. Credit: Friends of Horsey Seals

The Friends of Horsey Seals have been counting the seals pups, although their work at Horsey was called off earlier in December because of bad weather.

"Stormy weather had scattered pups and driven females and bulls into inaccessible areas at Horsey where it would be dangerous to approach them," the group said on its website.

However, counting had continued between Somerton and Winterton.

On 15 December after seven weeks of counting, they had spotted 813 adult seals and 785 pups.