Antoine and Denzil from Ocean Conservation Namibia race ahead to catch a seal with a fishing hook in its mouth. Hook rescues are more complicated than "regular" entanglements because the team never knows how the hook is positioned and how much pain each movement causes, and because they have to work closely to the seal’s very sharp teeth. They take their time to secure him properly to protect him and themselves before they get to work.
The hook is too big to be cut with their bolt cutter, they have to try and pull it out of the wound. It’s heart breaking to hear and see the animal’s undeserving agony. The team need a few minutes to be able to remove the hook from his mouth, but the hook is finally out, and the seal is released back into the ocean.
This year we have seen more hook entanglements than the year before. We do not know the reason, we can only speculate that there is a food shortage and the seals are trying to feed themselves with bait from fishing lines. This seal was likely trying to get some food from a fishing hook and accidentally got it stuck in his jaw.
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