A pair of kindly Maine lobstermen get the “seal of approval” from animal lovers everywhere after they carefully freed a young seal pup from a snarled tangle of discarded fishing nets.

Maine Lobstermen Rescue Seal Pup Tangled In Fishing Net

Maine's lobstermen are as tough as they come but even they have their gentle side. Just ask the over 1.4 million viewers (and counting) who have watched a viral video of the cutest rescue EVAR, posted at Facebook by Krystal Gamage.

Gamage just happens to be the girlfriend of Jeremy Willey, who's been lobstering off the central Maine coast with his buddy Jeffrey Dorr for the better part of 20 years. The guys came across the distressed seal pup while lobstering about 10-12 miles below Matinicus Rock near their hometown of Owls Head.   

Maine Lobstermen Rescue Seal Pup Tangled In Fishing Net

After snagging the floating mass of ropes with a grappling hook, the whole kit & caboodle was hauled on board the boat. “This little guy is, like, gasping for air,” explained Willey, who risked being bitten by the seal as he carefully cut away the snarl of netting. As you can see in the video posted by Gamage, wielding a knife while trying not to injure a panicky, slippery seal is no small feat!

Eventually the exhausted seal was freed from his prison of fishing flotsam and Willey gently lowered him over the gunwales and into the calm Atlantic Ocean. After a moment or two to catch his breath, the young marine mammal swam off to do, er, whatever it is marine mammals do. In this case, we'll hope he stocked Willey and Dorr's pots with a few extra lobsters. (via Canoe, Boston Magazine, and WCSH-6 Portland

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