Freddie Mercury the seal put down after dog attack near River Thames

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Furious animal lovers have hit out at a dog owner after the dog brutally attacked a young seal leaving him with a dislocated flipper and nasty wounds. - Duncan Phillips
Furious animal lovers have hit out at a dog owner after the dog brutally attacked a young seal leaving him with a dislocated flipper and nasty wounds. - Duncan Phillips

A seal named after Freddie Mercury has been put down after he was left with serious injuries in a dog attack near the River Thames.

Freddie was bitten by a dog on Sunday afternoon and was euthanised on Monday at the South Essex Wildlife Hospital in Tilbury.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) sent its medics to attend to Freddie's wound, which included a broken bone, dislocation, and a bite to his right flipper.

The much-loved animal was named after the Queen singer because of his crowd-pleasing performances near Hammersmith Bridge in Barnes.

The seal had appeared on multiple national news channels and was described as a "national treasure" by the founder of a fundraiser for the BDMLR, which has already raised more than £3,000.

The seal on the bank of the Thames on March 8 - Chris Jackson 
The seal on the bank of the Thames on March 8 - Chris Jackson
seal
seal

"Ourselves and the experts at British Divers Marine Life Rescue have consulted several specialist marine and orthopedic vets and as we strongly suspected having taken X-Ray this morning the prognosis was extremely poor," South Essex Wildlife Hospital said on Monday.

"He has been put to sleep - this is something that was well-thought-through, with lots of expert advice.

"When there's nothing more we can do, then it isn't fair on the animal to protract its suffering and it's our duty to relieve them from that.

"We believed the only ethical and fair option we have is to end his suffering. 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."

Alan Knight, the CEO of BDMLR, said that Freddie had fallen victim to a "ferocious attack" and expressed the sadness of his team.

The BDMLR said in a statement: "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.

"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 euthanised for his welfare.

"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.'"

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