A 200-kilogram fur seal has been found on the rugged south coast of Tasmania with a huge hook poking through its muzzle.
Wildlife authorities are investigating how the large fishing hook became lodged in the nose of the wild Australian fur seal spotted near Cape Hauy, southeast of Hobart, on Wednesday morning.
The hook was from a gaff – which is a pole with a hook used to drag large fish out of the water.
A 200-kilogram fur seal has been found on the rugged south coast of Tasmania with a huge hook poking through it’s muzzle (pictured)
The seal (pictured) swam away in good condition after wildlife rangers and conservation staff safely removed the hook from the animal
Wildlife rangers and marine conservation staff from Tasmania’s Department Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment tracked down the seal and were able to sedate it and safely remove the hook.
Wildlife biologist Sam Thalmann said the seal was settled and relaxed before they approached.
‘The seal’s eye was intact and the penetration was superficial through the upper nose,’ he said.
‘The seal was in good condition despite its injury and soon slipped back into the water and swam away.’
Mr Thalmann said sedating an animal of that size is tricky and the outcome was a good one.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to come forward by contacting the Department Primary Industries, Parks, Water, and Environment on 0417 661 234.
Seals are a protected species and deliberate interference with them is illegal.
‘Most fishers are aware that seals will follow a fish close to a boat and take the catch,’ Mr Thalmann said.
‘We encourage all fishers to be responsible when fishing as well as when cleaning and disposing of fish waste and equipment.’
‘Fishers should also be mindful that the ocean is a seal’s habitat.’
Cape Hauy on Tasmania’s southeast coast (pictured) is a rugged landscape populated by seal colonies