The British Divers Marine Life Rescue said the seal had to be euthanized “for his welfare” in a statement
A seal, dubbed Freddie Mercury, had to be euthanized on Sunday after it was attacked by a dog.
The animal received its nickname due to its entertaining antics near the Thames River and Hammersmith Bridge in London.
The British Divers Marine Life Rescue announced on Monday that Freddie had been taken to the hospital on Sunday following the dog attack.
An X-ray, they said, confirmed their “worst fears” and showed that the seal suffered from “a dislocation, damage to his joint, ligaments and nerves.”
“We contacted a number of marine mammal veterinarians in the UK and the Netherlands, including an orthopaedic surgeon, and sadly based on their experiences the decision is that he needed to be euthanased for his welfare,” the rescue center said. “We would be unable to release a seal back into the wild with one flipper, if amputation was an option, as we have a firm policy on not putting animals into captivity, and the seal’s welfare must be put first and foremost.”
CEO of BDMLR, Alan Knight OBE, added in the statement, “We contacted one of the UK’s leading orthopaedic surgeons, and he said that unfortunately the only option was to euthanase the seal.”
Knight also warned about the “serious problems that can arise when humans and dogs encounter wild animals” and cautioned against disturbing wild animals.
The South Essex Wildlife Hospital, where Freddie was treated, also released a statement prior to the euthanization explaining that the animal’s prognosis was “extremely poor” and that “seals do not take anaesthetic well as they have a dive reflex and don’t breath [sic].”
“The flipper is very swollen and despite antibiotics and pain relief the seal is clearly very uncomfortable and reluctant to eat. We suspect the infection is spreading and with the other bite wounds to his body he is very miserable,” they shared. “At this stage we believe the only ethical and fair option we have is to end his suffering. We are currently confirming this with BDMLR.”
The SEW Hospital added, ” We know this is a well loved seal from the amazing response we have had to his story but he is not the only seal we have had to care for that this has happened to. Please folks do not go near seals and always, always, keep dogs on leads and under control.”