A good 50 miles upstream from the North Sea, this seal was spotted in Tadcaster today (Wednesday) taking a break after a swim in the River Wharfe.
On closer inspection he had a tag on its flipper. It appears that he had previously been rescued and then released at sea and had made a very long trip to Tadcaster.
Now tonight the sad news that he hasn’t made it, clearly exhausted by his long journey.
Earlier the British Divers Marine Life Rescue unit was called in.
Regional coordinator David Leng told YorkMix that they had been asked to check on the seal to see how fit and healthy it was.
It was decided that it would be better to take it back into their care as it seems to have come from the RSPCA Fishcross centre in Alloa, Scotland and had a history of being rescued.
He said the seal was released approximately two weeks ago so had made a long journey down the North Sea coast and up the Humber and Ouse.
Apparently he was called Nutmeg. He was only young, probably having been born around the 10th of December.
The journey he made from Scotland to Tadcaster was a huge undertaking for a tiny seal and he lost 5kg during it. He was exhausted and just didn’t have the strength to carry on.
David said: “We suspect it has not fed in those three weeks. After consultation with the SSPCA and the local vets, it was decided to euthanise on welfare grounds due to the poor body condition and lethargic state.”
The seal was found by staff at Power Plus Autos and they have offered to sponsor the seal during his time in captivity. They said they were very sad to hear that he had died.