Despite their best efforts, rescuers were unable to save this seal.
For over two years, UK conservationists had tried to capture a seal the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust spotted caught in fishing wire in December 2018, but by the time they finally freed the creature, it was too late.
This April, animal lovers finally managed to rescue the seal — which they believe to be the same one spotted in 2018 — after she became lodged between boulders near Lands End, Cornwall, the BBC reported.
While they managed to save Hattie, as they named her, from the rising tide threatening to drown her, the wounds she’d sustained from the “ghost net” she’d spent two years bound by proved fatal. Indeed, the net had left Hattie, who is thought to have been 5 years old, with a “horrendous” 1.5 inch-deep neck wound and, as it turned out, further internal problems.
“I’m afraid we have to give you all some very sad news about Hattie,” Cornwall’s British Divers Marine Life Rescue Seal Pup Hospital wrote in a Saturday Facebook post.
Over the weekend, the poor critter’s health “rapidly deteriorated” and blood tests revealed she was likely suffering from “major organ dysfunction.”
With her quality of life declining along with her already slim chances of recovery or release back into the wild, the hospital “decided to let her pass away peacefully and with dignity last night, as our vet came out to put her to sleep.”
Hattie passed nine days after the hospital’s team began attending to her, and while the decision was “heartbreaking,” those who worked with her are comforted that “her final days were in an environment where she was safe and well cared for.”
“She was a very special seal,” the post concluded of her short life, “and one which I’m sure we will all remember.”