A month-old seal pup rescued from a Norfolk beach with an infected eye is being cared for at East Winch Wildlife Centre.
The young mammal, believed to be a common seal, was discovered on its own by a member of the public on Wednesday at Gorleston beach, near Yarmouth.
Members of the British Divers Marine life Rescue (BDMLR) and the RSCPA worked together with a member of the public to lift the heavy creature onto a stretcher and into a van.
Kevin Murphy, a volunteer for the Norfolk branch of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), said: “I got a call at 11.30am yesterday from head office saying there was a seal on the beach and it had an infection on the right eye.
“One of our medics went to have a look and sent me a photo. It had a really bad eye infection. We could see that the seal needed to be taken to hospital.
“When I got there the RSPCA were already there and there was also a member of the public with it.
“Because of the size of the animal it wouldn’t fit in my carry box.
“It was a very heavy seal. We used a stretcher to load it up into the van, with the help of a member of the public.
“He asked if we would take any money for the help, and I said no but he gave a donation to the RSPCA.”
The seal was then taken to the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre.
Mr Murphy said: “We do not know how the eye was injured.
“It will be seen by a vet and maybe given some antibiotics. Hopefully it is nothing life-threatening.
“Usually the RSPCA will release it back where they found it, depending on how long the treatment takes.”
Mr Murphy explained that it was normal for young seals to be found alone.
He said: “It was approximately a month old. After three weeks the mothers leave them to fend for themselves.
“Most other animals leave their mothers after a year or even two years, but seals are on their own from an early age.
“As long as they’ve got enough blubber they’re fine. Normally they come onto the beach to breed and rest.”
The BDMLR can be contacted on 01825 765546 during office hours. The out-of-office hours rescue only line is 07787 433412.