Baby seal washes up on bank of River Thames in WEST London park – some 100 miles inland from estuary

A lone seal pup has been sighted a long way from home in an unusually upstream location on the River Thames in west London.   

Locals kept their distance as they gathered around the wild creature who was spotted outside of Syon Park, in Isleworth, yesterday, at 1.30pm – around 100 miles inland from the Thames Estuary.

Footage shot by a member of the public shows the worn-out pup stretching out on the concrete of the riverbank as an audience of ducks line up to take a look at the unusual visitor.

The RSPCA was alerted to the seal pup’s presence at the location but found the seal had moved on by the time they reached the riverbank.

However the charity was again called to assist a seal at another location today, just six-miles from where the video was shot yesterday – they were unable to confirm if it was the same animal from the day before.

RSPCA Scientific Officer for Wildlife Evie Button said: ‘Following a report this morning of a seal on the RNLI’s slipway at Teddington Lock, an RSPCA officer went to the location to check on his condition.

‘The officer was concerned to see that the seal had a swollen face, and made the decision to contain the animal and is taking it to an RSPCA wildlife centre to be examined and treated.

‘We are unable to confirm whether this is the same seal that was sighted yesterday in a different Thames location at Isleworth. 

Cameron Hazzard, a member of the public who took the video, said: ‘I live locally, in Brentford, but I have never seen anything like this in this area before, and found it quite unusual that a seal would be so far upstream.’ 

The seal pup appeared to be taking a well earned break on the river bank outside of Syon Park, in Isleworth, west London, yesterday, at around 1.30pm

The seal pup appeared to be taking a well earned break on the river bank outside of Syon Park, in Isleworth, west London, yesterday, at around 1.30pm

The seal pup appeared to be taking a well earned break on the river bank outside of Syon Park, in Isleworth, west London, yesterday, at around 1.30pm

Locals gathered around the wild creature at a distance to capture footage of the worn-out pup who laid still for a significant amount of time

Locals gathered around the wild creature at a distance to capture footage of the worn-out pup who laid still for a significant amount of time

Locals gathered around the wild creature at a distance to capture footage of the worn-out pup who laid still for a significant amount of time

The seal in the footage was already fitted with an identifying tag, according to one witness, suggesting his movements are already being monitored by an animal charity. 

The pup is the eighth seal to be sighted in the Thames in 2021, according to data from the Zoological Society of London.   

However it is not always a sign of distress if seals are seen inland, with the RSPCA advising that seals are ‘often just looking for more food and generally they find their way out to sea again.’ 

The sighting comes just a week after Dolly the seal was released at Fairlight beach near Hastings, East Sussex, after being cared for by RSPCA’s Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre in Hastings. 

She had been washed up at Margate, Kent, in October weighing under two stone and suffering from an eye infection.     

The seal found on the RNLI's slipway at Teddington Lock, Richmond, today. It was taken to a treatment centre due to having a swollen face

The seal found on the RNLI's slipway at Teddington Lock, Richmond, today. It was taken to a treatment centre due to having a swollen face

The seal found on the RNLI’s slipway at Teddington Lock, Richmond, today. It was taken to a treatment centre due to having a swollen face

In another similar case Garlic the orphaned seal pup was found in a Southend river on Boxing Day after making an epic journey along the coast from Dundee.

After losing his parents the pup swam 500 miles from the Scottish fishing city to the Essex town in just a month, becoming strandexd two miles from sea when the water on the River Roach dipped.

The orphaned pup is now packing on the pounds while being cared for by a charity after he was tagged. 

Dolly the seal was released at Fairlight beach near Hastings, East Sussex, last week after being washed up at Margate, Kent, in October weighing under two stone

Dolly the seal was released at Fairlight beach near Hastings, East Sussex, last week after being washed up at Margate, Kent, in October weighing under two stone

Dolly the seal was released at Fairlight beach near Hastings, East Sussex, last week after being washed up at Margate, Kent, in October weighing under two stone

Garlic the seal pup was rescued on Boxing Day after he swam more than 500 miles from Dundee, Scotland, to Southend, Essex

Garlic the seal pup was rescued on Boxing Day after he swam more than 500 miles from Dundee, Scotland, to Southend, Essex

Garlic the seal pup was rescued on Boxing Day after he swam more than 500 miles from Dundee, Scotland, to Southend, Essex

He was picked up by South Essex Wildlife Hospital helpers and is being looked after before he can be released back into the wild. 

The RSPCA has warned the public ‘not to get close to seals in order to take pictures or even selfies’ if they do happen to encounter them, for the safety of the animal and to avoid getting bitten themselves.

RSPCA Scientific Officer Ms Button said: ‘We recommend that if a seal is spotted, it should be left alone.

‘Seals can be incredibly strong and powerful wild animals and have a very nasty bite which can cause horrible wounds, which could become infected by the bacteria that live in a seal’s mouth.’ 

Garlic's journey: He found in a Southend river on Boxing Day after making an epic journey along the coast from Dundee

Garlic's journey: He found in a Southend river on Boxing Day after making an epic journey along the coast from Dundee

Garlic’s journey: He found in a Southend river on Boxing Day after making an epic journey along the coast from Dundee

Garlic was found by a dog walker after he was stranded two miles from sea when the water on the River Roach dipped

Garlic was found by a dog walker after he was stranded two miles from sea when the water on the River Roach dipped

Garlic was found by a dog walker after he was stranded two miles from sea when the water on the River Roach dipped

The public are also warned to keep other animals, such as dogs, away from the seal and keep them on leads.

Ms Button added: ‘Please do not try to feed the seal as this may do more harm than good and don’t try to encourage seals back into the water as seal pups may come onto dry land to rest, or if they’re unwell.

‘If you are concerned about them, observe from a distance for at least 24 hours. If the seal is at risk, is sick or injured, or if it’s a pup and the mother has not returned for 24 hours, please contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. You can find more advice on the RSPCA’s website.   

Link hienalouca.com

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