Lincolnshire

Seal pup found 15 miles away from North Sea home released

Grey seal pup Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The pup was released back into the wild on Tuesday

A seal pup found about 15 miles away from its North Sea home on Boxing Day has been released back into the wild.

The RSPCA said the pup - named Zodiac - was found by a family walking their dogs along the River Bain at Tattershall Castle in Lincolnshire.

The pup, which was severely underweight, is thought to have swum upstream in search of food.

It has spent the past three months recovering at the East Winch Wildlife Centre in Norfolk.

Manager Alison Charles said: "Zodiac was about three-weeks-old when he arrived.

"He was very underweight at just 14kg, which was a long way short of the 40kg he needed to be to be healthy enough for us to release him.

"It's taken us a little longer to get to this point than we thought it might but it's fantastic to be able to get him back to where he belongs."

However, she added: "He was very feisty from day one - which is always a good sign for a wild animal."

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The pup was severely underweight when it was found

It had been hoped the family who found him would be able to attend the release, but this was not possible due to the current restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Family member Michael Poole said: "It's a real shame we didn't get to see it happen, it would have been a once in a lifetime experience.

"Finding him is not something we'll ever forget, and the whole thing has been a real learning experience for the girls.

"We're so happy that he's recovered and been able to be released back to the wild."

Grey seals are normally found in the waters of the Wash, an estuary between Lincolnshire and Norfolk.

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