Rescued Seal Wreaks Havoc in Good Samaritan’s Car

December 24,2015 at 02:41 am

A man from the Shetland Islands — who had just made a dramatic rescue of a beached female gray seal pup — learned a hard lesson about wild animals.

John Mancrieff saved the sea mammal from the elements on Quendale beach after it had washed up off the cliffs from its colony, and placed the animal in the back of his car, when she suddenly muscled her way to the front seat and started "hissing and snapping." Shocked, Mancrieff quickly vacated his Ford Fiesta and took several photographs of the seal, who was found during a rough storm. 

Mancrieff had originally discovered the stranded seal when his dog Lottie pointed her laying out on the sand. He snapped into action and placed her in a fish box he found on the beach, walked her nearly a mile back to his car, and put a blanket over her head to calm her down. After getting the seal seemingly relaxed, Mancrieff and his stepson then dropped off their dog, and set off to the closest animal sanctuary on the island. But the seal had other plans. 

"We got out of the car as quickly as possible, and eventually managed to maneuver the seal back in the box, and place it more securely in the car," Mancrieff told

Fortunately, they were able to safely bring it back to the backseat of the car and dropped it off at the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary, which has been taking care of her for the past few weeks. In spite of all the excitment, the seal, which was named Lottie after Mancrieff`s dog, has been recovering well.

The proprietor of the facility, Jan Bevington, acknowledged that a wild seal can become easily agitated and aggressive.

"They are super fierce," Bevington told, but noted they sometimes need rescuing.

 "They get washed off if there`s a big storm and banged onto the rocks, they end up coming to us. ... In the winter, we get Atlantic grays, so far this year, we had eight, and two otters," she said, adding, "Many marine mammals need all the help they can get. Common seals aren`t common anymore."

 The seal is expected to make full recovery and be released back into the wild shortly after Christmas.