Flying Rings Kill Seals
Sailing enthusiast, Jenny Hobson, who set up a campaign three years ago to raise public awareness about how flying rings can harm seals, is taking the message on a round-Britain yachting adventure.
As a volunteer at RSPCA’s Wildlife Centre at East Winch near Kings Lynn, Jenny has witnessed the terrible neck wounds caused by these popular beach toys. She is using the trip as an opportunity to spread the message about the problem.
Click to read more Flying Rings Report
A seal safety campaign thought up by animal lover Jenny Hobson and launched by ‘Friends of Horsey Seals’ has been extended. Its mission is to stop seals being injured and sometimes killed by a popular beach toy namely the Frisbee type flying ring.
One of the many grey seals discovered with one of these rings stuck around her neck was nicknamed Mrs Frisbee. She was rescued by the Friends of Horsey Seals, and we took her to the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre where vets discovered horrific injuries when they cut the ring off. She was nursed back to health and after months of treatment was eventually released back into the wild.
But in reality, many other necklaced seals face infection and starvation and are probably never discovered. Alison Charles, former Manager of RSPCA Wildlife Centre at East Winch would be happy to see flying rings not being produced anymore. Alison says: “We are not anti-fun, but I wish people would not take them onto the beach but rather buy solid discs instead. It’s just horrendous, we 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 and taken it on the beach”.
The sad thing is this is still happening now. The reason is that seals are very curious creatures. If they come across something new floating in the water, they will swim round it, play with it and sometimes try and swim through it. If it gets stuck around their neck, especially if they are young, the object will eventually become embedded in their flesh as they grow, causing terrible sometimes fatal wounds.
Seal Campaigner, Jenny Hobson commissioned a life-size model of a seal with a flying ring embedded in its neck, which was created by local artist Rebecca Elliott. It tours Norfolk beaches during the summer to try and get the message home.
Update: A news item about Jenny and the campaign was aired on BBC Look East recently, click to read more. BBC Look East
Jenny is still on her voyage around the British Isles, spreading the message of awareness of the dangers to seals of discarded plastic flying rings. Follow the link to see the latest news on her progress and wildlife encounters around the British Isles