Lincolnshire

Wild seal spotted near Market Deeping

Common seal Image copyright Kerry Unwin
Image caption The seal is thought to have arrived in the area during the past week

A seal, normally found living off the east coast, has been spotted 27 miles away fishing for food on a Lincolnshire river.

The RSPCA has confirmed sightings of the common seal at Low Locks, on the River Welland, near Deeping St James.

Normally found in the Wash, it is thought to have arrived at its current location during the past week.

RSPCA officer Justin Stubbs said it appears to be healthy and should find its own way back in time.

He said: "It's not uncommon for seals to venture up rivers away from the sea looking for food and they normally manage to find their way back.

"As long as the seal is not sick, injured, or in any immediate danger then we would not be concerned for its welfare."

The charity urged people not to approach the seal as it might bite, and for people with dogs to keep them under close control.

Image copyright Kerry Unwin
Image caption The seal is thought to have swum up river from its normal territory in the Wash
Image copyright Kerry Unwin
Image caption The RSPCA said it was not uncommon for seals to swim up rivers looking for food

Local photographer Kerry Unwin said she heard about the seal on Facebook and went out on Tuesday morning, with her son, to try to catch a glimpse of it.

She said: "As far as I know a seal has never come this far inland along the River Welland. It's really caught the imagination of people locally and there seems to be a lot more people walking in the area as a result."

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