Baby seal spotted ‘shuffling along road’ outside Norfolk kebab shop

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A grey seal pup has been rescued by local marine experts after being spotted outside an arcade and kebab shop in Norfolk.

The Marine and Wildlife Rescue was sent pictures on Friday night of the animal, which was lying outside Istanbul Delight kebab shop in Hemsby, hundreds of metres away from the beach.

Dan Goldsmith, chair of the Great Yarmouth-based rescue centre, said: “We spoke to a couple of people that were milling around there and thought it was a wind-up, they were like: ‘No, you won’t find a seal around here mate’.

The seal was eventually rescued by local marine experts after being found outside an amusement arcade

“After searching the area for some time, we eventually found the seal shuffling along on a path outside an amusement arcade called the Mirage.

“The pup must have just been looking for some shelter, but got disorientated and kept heading inland.”

Mr Goldsmith, 38, said the seal pup was in good health and he and a fellow rescuer loaded it on to a stretcher to carry it back to safer ground on the beach.

He added that such sightings of seals further inland have become more common due to surging seal populations in the UK in recent years.

Mr Goldsmith added that the recent pupping season may also be responsible for more sightings.

The UK’s grey seal population dropped dramatically in the early 20th century, to numbers as low as 500. There are now estimated to be 120,000.

Seal sightings are becoming more common inland as population numbers have surged

Mr Goldsmith continued: “This was more the unusual end of what we do, but this is becoming more of a common occurrence… we responded to one the day before funnily enough, it was out on a road quite a few miles inland.

“I remember 20 years ago we didn’t get hardly any calls about seals, maybe two a week… I get probably at peak times 15-20 calls for different seals a day.”

The UK’s largest colony of grey seals is in Blakeney, 40 miles along the Norfolk coast, where 4,500 pups are expected to be born over the winter.

Mr Goldsmith, from Gorleston-on-Sea, warned those seeking to find and spot seal pups inland not to approach them and to call for expert help.

“We do get people that mean really well, that want to help and they’ve done things in the past but have been injured,” he said.

“Call a rescue organisation like us to assess because we’re used to working with them.

“They’re very quick and responsive… and they can look very docile and friendly, but they’re not, they are really quite hostile things.”