‘Animal lovers win last minute reprieve for “predator” who has been snaffling up fish in the Severn’

Posted on January 26, 2013

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Today (26th January), a news item was posted on dailymail.co.uk titled ‘Keith the seal saved! Animal lovers win last minute reprieve  for “predator” who has been snaffling up fish in the Severn’.

‘… * Anglers wanted to shoot four-foot seal to protect fish stocks
* Anglers Trust backs attempts to return Keith to her feeding grounds

A seal called Keith which anglers wanted to shoot in order to protect fish stocks has had a last minute reprieve.

The 4ft seal, which is in fact female, became a local celebrity after she swam over 50 miles inland up the River Severn, in Worcestershire.

But after a storm of protest and an internet campaign, the Angling Trust has agreed to support attempts to return Keith to her feeding grounds in the Irish Sea …

Animal-lovers have followed its journey and reports of sightings after it was first spotted in the River Severn in November …

But within hours of the shooting threat emerging a Facebook campaign entitled ‘Save Keith the Seal’ was launched. It was endorsed with more than 600 ‘likes’.

Twitter was also buzzing with messages backing Keith, while an online petition to save the seal from the bullet amassed well over 400 signatures.

The seal was first photographed having swum upstream to Bewdley and Stourport-on-Severn in Worcestershire.

There locals nicknamed it after Colonel Keith, the Royalist commander at the 1651 Battle of Worcester during the Civil War.

The seal’s usual home is believed to be in the Irish Sea or Bristol Channel

An Environment Agency spokesman said: ‘We understand the concerns of anglers, but one animal in a large river like the Severn is unlikely to have a significant impact on fish stocks.

‘This is natural predation and it will eventually make its way back out to sea.

‘With this is mind, and because seals are a protected species, we won’t be taking action.’

An RSPCA spokesman said: ‘It’s not uncommon for seals to venture away from the sea.

‘As long as the seal is not injured, or in any immediate danger, then we would not be concerned for its welfare.’

Keith’s petition can be found at www.facebook.com/savetheseal, and the petition at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-keith-the-seal.html …’

Read the item in full, view images and add your comment online at www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2268610/River-Severn-Animal-lovers-win-minute-reprieve-seal-predator-snaffling-fish.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Posted in: News