A feisty young seal pup is recovering after his sense of adventure got the better of him.
The pup, believed to be about three weeks old, was found four miles from sea after apparently taking a wrong turn.
He was found in the garden of a home in Terrington St Clements, Norfolk, on Wednesday morning by a shocked homeowner who called the RSPCA.
Animal collection officer Naemi Kilbery said she was so surprised by the call that she was “wondering if there had been a misunderstanding” but when she arrived she saw the seal was indeed miles from his usual habitat.
“We think that possibly he may have travelled up a drainage system and that’s how he ended up where he was, but the water system only literally had two inches of water in it, so this poor pup must have just kept trying to travel further and further down in the hope of finding water or food,” she said.
“He was an incredibly feisty little fella and it took all my strength to catch and rescue him, but it would have been his spirit and fight for life, that would have kept him alive during his ordeal.”
She said the pup could have died of starvation but he is now recovering at an RSPCA centre.
RSPCA East Winch centre manager Alison Charles said the pup was likely to make a full recovery over the next few days as he is fed and monitored.
Then he will be released into the Wash, a Norfolk bay that opens into the North Sea.
Ms Charles warned that even though seal pups can look sweet, they can still be very feisty.
“Seals are incredibly strong and powerful wild animals and can have a very powerful bite which can cause horrible wounds,” she said. “And we want to remind people to always stay away from seals, no matter where you find them.”
The RSPCA said it had been “incredibly concerned” by reports that people had been getting too close to seal pups during the recent grey seal pupping season along the Norfolk coast.
“We know that it is an incredible sight to see, but people must respect that these are wild animals, and not interfere or get close to them,” Ms Charles said.
“We have already had some reports of seals being bitten by dogs, because people have also been too close to them with their pets.”