A special day for OCN – we knew we would likely get rescue #500 on this day. Naude had packed our golden Leatherman Raptor Scissors for this special event, and Antoine had the well deserved honor to catch the tiny seal who would be our milestone rescue #500 for 2021. He was entangled in a piece of fishing line, the wound was infected and smelled very bad. The rescuers did not waste any time and rescued two more seals in this kayak rescue run because our work is nowhere close to being done and we do not have any time to spare. Lives need to be saved. We can celebrate once we run out of entangled seals.
Seal “Julius” FINALLY rescued!
It’s not often that a seal earns a name at Ocean Conservation Namibia, but Julius was quite the exception. Antoine and Naude had seen him while on patrol for the first time 3 weeks before, and had failed to net him on the first attempt. Although he was carrying a huge burden around his neck, he was still surprisingly fast and stayed in a dense pack while running to the ocean – making it impossible for the rescuers to get close enough. This was the same case on the second and third rescue attempts too. Julius was then not seen again for another 2 weeks – in which time Antoine had also departed back to France. A few days ago Naude and Denzil spotted him once again, in his usual resting area. They were excited, nervous and scared all at the same time. Julius was loosing conditioning and they had to make this one count. After a drive-in by car and a short chase Naude managed to get him in the net. He had so much rope around his neck that he actually got stuck on the way in! They got to work and soon cut all the ropes off his back. The next problem was that there were many ropes going through his mouth too, and this would be a difficult and dangerous area to work. Luckily Naude found an old hole in the net near his mouth and was able to cut the ropes one by one through the hole. They then dragged him higher up the beach – they were worried there might still be ropes remaining, and if this was the case, they needed to be able to get him back in the net again. There was still one rope through his mouth, which came loose when Naude grabbed the bundle of ropes dangling below. This rescue will go down as one of the most memorable so far for Ocean Conservation Namibia.