An elephant seal was spotted at Piedras Blancas near San Simeon, on the American West Coast south of San Francisco, with a green packing strap wrapped around his neck.

October 2012. Elephant seal in trouble. (Photo: Christine Heinrichs)

Perilous entanglement. (Photo: The Marine Mammal Center)

Entanglement in ocean trash is a not uncommon and deadly predicament for many marine mammals as such entanglements eventually restrict their ability to swallow or hunt effectively.

State Park rangers notified the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito of the situation. Staff from the Center, including a veterinarian, approached the animal at low tide to give them the best chance of getting him before he made a break for the water.

The team reported it took quite a struggle to get a rescue net over the animal. Once that was done he was sedated and the entanglement was cut away. The vet cleaned the wound, took a blood sample, and put a flipper tag on him for identification in the future if needed. They named him “Green Tie” after the green packaging strap they removed.

Cleaning the wounds. (Photo: The Marine Mammal Center)

Dr. Michelle Barbieri holds the plastic strap she removed from Green Tie. (Photo: The Marine Mammal Center)

About 20 minutes or so after he was sedated, Green Tie woke up and went back into the water.

The seal was spotted and rechecked a year later and found to be healed and healthy.

With the packing strap removed and wound cleaned, Green Tie makes his way back to sea. The salty ocean water will help accelerate the healing process. (Photo: Joan Crowder)

Organizations like the Marine Mammal Center are saving the lives of animal around the globe 24/7. They are seldom recognized for their efforts. They do it for the animals.



Source: The Marine Mammal Center (