BBC News

Horsey seals: Sculpture warns of plastic ring dangers

Published
image copyrightRichard Hobson
image captionCampaigner Jenny Hobson with the sculpture

A sculpture of a seal with a plastic ring stuck around its neck will tour beaches as campaigners raise awareness of the threat posed by the toys.

Norfolk charity Friends of Horsey Seals launched the flying rings campaign last year after several marine mammals came to harm along the county's coastline.

The new model will be taken to Horsey and Winterton-on-Sea this summer.

Campaigners said they hoped it would help urge people not to discard the frisbee-style hoops.

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."

image copyrightAndrew Terrell
image captionCampaigners want to urge people not to take the flying rings to the beaches

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.

At least two more seals with flying discs round their necks were taken to the East Winch centre, near King's Lynn, for treatment by early 2019.

In each case staff cut the plastic ring off and nursed the weakened seal back to health.

image copyrightGlenn Mingham/ Friends of Horsey Seals
image captionA seal nicknamed Mrs Pink Frisbee was taken to the RSPCA centre at East Winch in 2018

The sculpture was designed by artist Rebecca Elliott and funded by Cromer Town Council.

Friends of Horsey Seals said it sat on a base of flying rings cut in half "which illustrates that this is the only way these rings can be made harmless to seals".

The volunteer group has also produced leaflets and posters as part of its campaign.

Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion email eastofenglandnews@bbc.co.uk

Related Topics

  • Environment
  • Horsey
  • Seals
  • Winterton-on-Sea
  • King's Lynn
  • Marine conservation
  • Plastic

More on this story

  • Winterton seal pups die 'due to beachgoers' actions'