Monday, 24 October 2016

Stranded seal rescued from river Thames in London

Animal found on a pontoon near Kew Bridge brought to safety after a 90-minute rescue, to applause from watching public

Press Association
Thursday 13 October 2016 16.26 BST Last modified on Thursday 13 October 2016 16.48 BST 

A stranded seal has been rescued from the Thames to applause from the watching public in west London.

The animal was discovered on a pontoon near Kew Bridge in Brentford, and brought to safety after a 90-minute rescue involving the fire brigade and RSPCA.

It is not unusual for seals to venture up the Thames, the RSPCA said, but this one was thought to have become stranded on dry land after emerging from the water with an injury.
The animal charity said it may have been hit by a boat.

Speaking as the rescue took place on Thursday morning, an RSPCA spokeswoman said: “It’s not uncommon for seals to venture up rivers away from the sea looking for food. They normally manage to find their way back unless they are sick, when they will haul themselves out of the water.

“In this instance, however, we are concerned for the seal’s welfare as the animal appears to have an injury to the eye, perhaps consistent with being hit by a boat.”

London fire brigade station manager Andy Watson said: “With the help of firefighters, the seal was carried via a pedestrian bridge into an animal ambulance.

“The rescue was a success and the watching public clapped from the banks of the river.”


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