A seal pup spotted with a large fishing hook stuck in its mouth in Oban has been rescued and returned to sea.
The injured male pup was photographed with a bright pink lure in its mouth, which brought it to the attention of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) group.
Local volunteers were able to capture the seal, have the hook removed and wound treated, before it was released back into the wild.
Heidi Holland, BDMLR area coordinator, said: “We have volunteers dotted around the area.
“We had been alerted that an injured seal pup had been seen by a member of the public, John Spiers, in Oban Bay.
“It had hauled out and was sitting on the slipway with a large fishing lure sticking out of the corner of its mouth.
“Mr Spiers posted a picture of the pup on a marine nature group on Facebook and we made contact with him. He told us it had been seen near the sailing club slipway.
“One of my team of local volunteer marine mammal medics based in Oban, Barbara Macfarlane, went out to have a look.
“Unfortunately it was back in the water and couldn’t be seen. We put out posts on social media asking for people who had heard of any sightings to contact us.
“We got a call on Tuesday morning to say it was back up on the slipway at the sailing club.”
She added: “Barbara and I were able to catch it and found that the hook was embedded into its right cheek.
“We took it to Oban Vets, who were fantastic. They were able to remove the hook, clean the wound and gave it some painkillers and long-acting antibiotics.
“After a few hours of rest and recuperation we took him back to the water where we were able to release him.
“It was very rewarding. We do a lot of pick-ups but don’t always get the chance to be involved in the release.
“To be able to rescue it, have its injuries seen to and then released was really something quite special.”
Anyone who spots an injured or stranded sea mammal is advised not to approach it. They should contact the BDMLR on 01825 765546.