Beloved seal pup ‘Freddie Mercury’ euthanized after being mauled by off-leash dog

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An off-leash dog, running along London’s Thames River banks, mauled a seal pup dubbed Freddie Mercury by adoring locals. The horrible attack was captured by a photographer who was in the area snapping pictures of the young seal, reports the New York Post.

The mixed-breed dog belongs to Rebecca Sabben-Clare, who tried to pry the dog off of the helpless seal. Sabben-Clare was assisted by other concerned passersby, but their attempts were to no avail and the seal suffered severe injuries before the attack ended.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue recounted the pup’s injuries, explaining why humane euthanasia was the best option:

The seal known as ‘Freddie’ was taken to a wildlife hospital in Essex, where an experienced veterinarian has been administering pain relief and examining the extent of the injuries. Unfortunately, after an X-ray this afternoon, our worst fears were confirmed, and the seal not only sustained a broken bone, but also a dislocation, damage to his joint, ligaments and nerves that made it impossible to treat and return him to the wild.

Several marine mammal veterinarians were contacted about the pup’s injuries and it was agreed that the seal would not ever recover enough to be released back into the wild. The organization stated:

we have a firm policy on not putting animals into captivity, and the seal’s welfare must be put first and foremost.

Adding:

We are all absolutely gutted to hear about the extent of the injuries Freddie suffered, and highlights yet again the serious problems that can arise when humans and dogs encounter wild animals. We hope that his story will go a long way to helping educate people to look up and follow the appropriate guidelines for how to behave respectfully around wild animals and not cause disturbance or worse to them.

(Image via British Divers Marine Life Rescue Facebook page)

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