Stranded seal pup rescued from farmer’s field in Walton-le-Dale

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A seal pup was rescued after becoming stranded in a farmer’s field in Walton-le-Dale.

The disoriented seal pup was found a few hundred metres from the River Ribble near the Capitol Centre on Sunday (January 22).

Members of the RSPCA and British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) were subsequently called to rescue the pup.

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They were aided by Rebecca, Practice Manager at Vets4Pets Preston Capitol, who was one of the first on the scene.

“I was out walking my dog when I spotted one of my neighbours frantically waving at me from across the field,” Rebecca said.

“I quickly realised he wasn’t just saying hello but was signalling for my help and I ran over to him right away.

“I’m not sure what I had expected to find, but I was definitely surprised to see the little seal pup stranded in the field.”

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A seal pup was safely being released back into the wild after becoming stranded in a field in Walton-le-Dale (Credit: @shauncoathup85)A seal pup was safely being released back into the wild after becoming stranded in a field in Walton-le-Dale (Credit: @shauncoathup85)
A seal pup was safely being released back into the wild after becoming stranded in a field in Walton-le-Dale (Credit: @shauncoathup85)

Despite it being a frosty morning, local residents did not hesitate to come together to help rescue the seal pup.

Rebecca called her friend, Shaun Coathup, who came immediately to help, and her neighbours called the BDMLR.

She added: “While we waited for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue to arrive, we used blankets to try to corner the seal off and keep it away from danger.

“Once the rescue volunteer arrived, they called for back up to bring boards that would enable us to herd the seal into a crate so we could transport it safely back to sea.

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“By this point, we’d been in the field for a few hours already and were growing more concerned for the safety of the seal.”

With back up over an hour away, residents decided to improvise.

Rebecca rallied a few more neighbours together and used spare doors and gates to help ensure the seal could not escape.

Shaun also ran home and brought his Labrador’s crate so the group could coax the seal to safety.

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The pup was then examined to make sure it was fit and healthy before being transported to Fleetwood by the BDMLR.

It was then safely released back into the wild.

“After spending more than three hours out in the cold together trying to keep the seal safe, myself and the other neighbours were all so relieved to know that the seal was finally safe,” Rebecca said.

“It was so rewarding to see the pictures of the pup being released back into the sea, knowing it had all been worth it.”

Shaun also took to Twitter to share details of the bizarre discovery.

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He wrote: “It’s not everyday a seal pup loses its way and ends up in a farmers field in Walton-le-Dale.

“It made its way a good few hundred metres away from the river Darwen near the Capitol Centre.

“Thanks to some locals, @BDMLR, @RSPCA_official for the help to rescue this pup.”

What to do if you find a seal

If you see a seal that may be abandoned, thin, ill or injured, call the BDMLR rescue hotline on 01825 765546.

Alternatively, call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

Click HERE for more information.