'Save our seals' plea as sculpture sends out clear warning
The message is clear as a new sculpture has been created to help protect seals on the Norfolk coast.
Friends of Horsey Seals are campaigning for people not to discard the frisbee-style hoops which have resulted in severe, life-threatening injuries for seals in the area.
The sculpture was designed by artist Rebecca Elliott which depicts a seal with a plastic ring stuck around its neck.
Campaigners are touring Norfolk beaches with the sculpture this week, including at Hunstanton on Sunday, to get the message across.
Jenny Hobson from Friends of Horsey Seals said: “The sculpture is really captivating people’s interest. People have been coming up and asking what we are doing so it is helping to raise awareness.
“There has been an amazing take-up, and it just makes it very obvious what the message is.”
She added: “We are worried by the number of injuries. It’s horrible and they result in a long and painful death for the seals.
"There are problems with plastic debris all across the coastline but we see it more in Norfolk because the beaches are low-lying and sandy so there is access to play with these beach toys."
A seal nicknamed Mrs Pink Frisbee was rescued at Horsey in 2018 with a flying disc around her neck, which was wedged tight and cut into her as she continued to grow.
Further incidents have subsequently been reported including a seal named Pinkafo who has been returned to her natural environment after months of treatment by the RSPCA.
Alison Charles, manager at East Winch's RSPCA Wildlife Centre, said: "We are not anti-fun, but I wish people would not take them on to the beach but rather buy solid discs instead.
"It's just horrendous, I removed a ring from one seal and I thought her head was going to fall off because the wound was so deep and so horrible.
"This poor animal had suffered because someone had bought a cheap flying ring."