Guyhirn gets the ‘seal’ of approval

A seal is spotted sunning themselves at Guyhirn. Picture: LISA SINCLAIR

A seal is spotted sunning themselves at Guyhirn. Picture: LISA SINCLAIR - Credit: Archant

A seal has been spotted bobbing about happily in the River Nene at Guyhirn, where it is thought the animal has made the 20 mile journey inland from The Wash.

It is thought the seal, the size of a large Labrador, has followed the river from where it meets The Wash beyond Sutton Bridge.

Guyhirn resident Lisa Sinclair sent a photo of the animal relaxing beside the water, after her children Lydia and Jack Irvine, spotted it while walking to the nearby garage.

Lisa said: “They saw the seal in the river opposite the church while walking along the river bank to get to the garage.

“They came back and told me, but I thought they were pulling my leg, so went to check for myself.

“It was happily playing about, swimming on its back and splashing around, not at all scared of us.”

Lisa rang a seal rescue charity at Great Yarmouth who thinks the animal is one found in the area some years ago that had a hook stuck in its body and was sick.

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The seal was treated but it is thought it still returns to the area.

Lisa said: “The seal didn’t seem at all bothered by us watching.”

Caroline Fitton, communications officer, for the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, said: “It’s not uncommon for seals to venture up rivers away from the sea - as long as the seal is not sick, injured or in any danger then there’s no concern for their welfare.

“One of the reasons is that they may be following a food source at the time - we have seen them in the River Nene and River Great Ouse as far up as Godmanchester.

“People love seeing them in unexpected surroundings. It’s also a sign that our waterways and rivers are supporting life – albeit marine life in this case.”

• Last year a seal was found sunbathing in fields of the Yorkshire Dales after swimming 50 miles from the Humber Estuary in pursuit of fish.