Seal freed from fishing gear off Cape Cod

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News
A seal splashes through the water after being released by the Vancouver Aquarium.

An International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Marine Mammal Rescue & Research team recently freed a seal caught in a buoy line in the Pleasant Bay area of Chatham on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

The distressed mammal had become so entangled in the fishing gear that it struggled to reach the water's surface to breathe. Rescuers had to first catch the young seal, then free it from the dangerous situation.

Watch the incredible rescue below.

The rescue team was alerted to the seal's dire situation by the Massachusetts Environmental Police.

"In almost all cases these entanglements are considered life threatening. If animals are not freed from the entanglement, the gear can inhibit an animal’s ability to swim, feed, and evade predators," wrote CT Harry, IFAW's assistant stranding coordinator.

"What makes this particular entanglement case unique, and slightly more difficult, was that the seal was observed not hauled out on a beach, but free-swimming in the water dragging the pot gear around by the buoy line wrapped around its neck."

The IFAW team gave the seal a thorough health assessment before releasing it back into the water.

They believe the seal has a good chance at survival.