Cambridgeshire

Swavesey seal found nearly 40 miles inland was malnourished, scientists say

Seal body and scientist Image copyright CSIP-ZSL
Image caption The body of the young common seal was found in Ferry Lagoon in early March

A seal found 60km (37 miles) inland was malnourished and full of bacteria when it died, scientists have said.

The juvenile common seal had been in a lagoon near Swavesey, Cambridgeshire, for "a couple of weeks" before it died on 1 March, scientists said.

Tests carried out by the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) found the seal was in "moderate-poor nutritional condition".

Its body was recovered from Ferry Lagoon near the River Great Ouse.

Rob Deaville, project manager at CSIP, said seals were not normally resident so far inland, but had occasionally made their way up river streams in the past, including the River Great Ouse.

Image copyright CSIP-ZSL
Image caption A post-mortem examination revealed the seal was in "moderate-poor nutritional condition".

Common seals are normally found on islands, rocky shores and cliffs, and are particularly common around western Scotland and the northern UK islands.

During a post-mortem examination, scientists found the young male seal had "a moderate burden of lungworms".

They also discovered "several bacterial species of potential interest" which are being tested to find out their "potential significance".

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