Many of the seals in the Cape Town harbour become ensnared in nooses of discarded fishing lines, raffia cord, bait box bands, and other plastic pollution. If no action is taken, these nooses cut into the seals' flesh, causing wounds that lead to the death of the animal.
This particular Cape fur seal had been severely entangled in 2 nooses, which had caused serious injury. For this reason, the seal was not very active when it was spotted by Brett Glasby and Claire Taylor, marine wildlife specialists at the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation. This provided the perfect opportunity for our Veterinarian, Luca Mendes to dart the seal so that we could safely approach it to relieve its pain by disentangling it.
The darting procedure is done in order to sedate the seal before any work can be done by the team. Once the anaesthesia kicked in, the team was then able to sever the nooses around the neck of the seal.
Once the disentanglement is complete, the seal is tagged so that the Marine Wildlife Specialist team is able to monitor the seal in future. The seal is then given a reversal injection that causes the anaesthesia to wear off and the seal to wake up.