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Kalk Bay harbour seal stuck with fishing hooks finally freed by SPCA

Cape of Good Hope SPCA chief inspector Jaco Pieterse removes two fishing hooks from the flipper of a Kalk Bay harbour seal. Photo: SPCA

Cape of Good Hope SPCA chief inspector Jaco Pieterse removes two fishing hooks from the flipper of a Kalk Bay harbour seal. Photo: SPCA

Published Dec 27, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - A Kalk Bay harbour seal has finally been relieved of three weeks of pain after the SPCA removed two fishing hooks stuck in its flipper.

The Cape of Good Hope branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said its chief inspector, Jaco Pieterse, managed to remove the hooks from the seal on Monday morning.

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The SPCA said it had been receiving calls from the public for three weeks about a seal that had fishing hooks lodged in its side and rear flipper.

The two fishing hooks, stuck in the side and rear flipper of the seal, were removed. Photo: SPCA

“Every time we responded to these pleas for help, the seal had already jumped back into the water, having been disturbed by tourists and people wanting to get a closer look, or take photographs of this beautiful creature.

“Once he jumped back into the sea there was no way of us safely catching him, and each time we had to leave and wait for a better opportunity.

“Finally, this morning, chief inspector Jaco Pieterse and his team set off early and caught the seal while he was still asleep on the pier, where all the seals of Kalk Bay harbour normally rest,” the SPCA said.

It said that usually, when rescuing a seal, a fully covered seal net was used. However, Pieterse used an open net so that the hooks could be removed safely, quietly and quickly.

“Pieterse approached the seal, slipped the net and cover over the seal’s head, and – with his experienced sleight of hand – deftly removed the two hooks from the seal’s side and rear flipper.

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“Once done, the seal was in a hurry to get back into the harbour.

“Pieterse had to make sure he didn’t vanish while still in the net,” the SPCA said.

The organisation has thanked the public for contacting them to help the seal.

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