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Seal spotted fishing in Norwich river

PUBLISHED: 09:39 24 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:11 24 November 2019

A seal captured fishing in the River Wensum near Carrow Bridge in Octoer. Picture: Nikki Winkworth

A seal captured fishing in the River Wensum near Carrow Bridge in Octoer. Picture: Nikki Winkworth

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Anglers are a familiar site along the banks of the River Wensum in Norwich but recently a more unusual visitor has been spotted fishing in the city.

A seal captured fishing in the River Wensum near Carrow Bridge in Octoer. Picture: Nikki WinkworthA seal captured fishing in the River Wensum near Carrow Bridge in Octoer. Picture: Nikki Winkworth

In recent weeks a number of people have reported seeing a seal swimming in the River Wensum near Riverside.

One man, who wished to remain anonymous, said the seal had visited his boat in the area on multiple occasions over the past week, he said: "I have been having daily and nightly visits from our lovely visitor for the last three days.

"He's the most adorable thing I've seen in a while, he surfaces, gives me a look and flares his nostrils before diving back down."

Nikki Winkworth, 41, who moved to Norwich from Perth, Australia, five months ago said she had also seen the seal in the river near Carrow Bridge a couple of times, even managing to take a picture of it on one occasion.

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She said: "In Perth we have dolphins in the river, so I wasn't sure what to expect coming here, I was a little bit shocked to see a seal.

"He's clearly hanging around and I think he's able to get food, I thought maybe he was just visiting but he's been here for quite a few weeks."

While seals are normally coastal animals, Gemma Walker, a wildlife community officer for Norfolk Wildlife Trust said it was not unheard of for them to swim inland, she said: "It's known that grey seals and harbour seals do sometimes come into freshwater systems such as rivers but I wouldn't say it's common as they are obviously saltwater mammals.

"If they are happy, healthy seals they should be able to navigate themselves back to the sea."

Ms Walker said although the seal was an unusual creature to spot in the centre of Norwich people should not forget it is a wild animal and added: "As with any wild animal, please respect it and keep a distance from it, definitely do not feed it.

"We occasionally get people feeding seals and it's really important not to so that seals do not associate people with food."

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