Monday 14 October 2019

Stranded grey seal rescued from large Second World War pillbox

It is believed that the seal spent more than a day on top of the blockhouse.

By Henry Clare, Press Association

A stranded grey seal had to be rescued after spending more than 24 hours stuck at the top of a 10ft-high Second World War pillbox.

It is not known how the tired seal ended up in the awkward spot, but it was seen by an anxious passerby who called for help after noticing it sitting on top of the large blockhouse on Tuesday.

It is believed that the injured seal was stuck on the pillbox on Fraisthorpe Beach in Yorkshire’s East Riding for more than a day, leaving it dehydrated due to the strong sunshine.

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

“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.”

She added that the size of the pillbox made for a challenging rescue but, with the help of RSPCA deputy chief inspector Claire Mitchell, Ms Honess-Heather was able to help the seal down.

They had to carefully manoeuvre him into a net, as they jointly supported his body weight.

The seal was later assessed at the Scarborough Sea Life centre, where it was discovered that his eye had sustained some trauma and was slightly infected.

Following treatment, he was released back into the wild on Wednesday.

Pillboxes are concrete guard posts, which are normally equipped with holes so that weapons can be fired through them.

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