Another seal sighting in Norwich's River Wensum

Another seal has been spotted in the River Wensum in Norwich City Centre.

Another seal has been spotted in the River Wensum in Norwich City Centre. - Credit: Monika Ashley

As families flock to the Norfolk’s network of rivers to enjoy the summer sunshine, you can expect to see plenty of wildlife, but one family in Norwich spotted a visitor who probably shouldn’t have been there.  

Monika and Gary Ashley were enjoying a quiet Monday afternoon canoeing on the River Wensum in Norwich when they spotted a seal’s head "bobbing about" in the water. 

Mrs Ashley , 36,  said: “It was crazy. We hired a boat yesterday afternoon and we were in the water just past Wetherspoons on Riverside, and we saw it.  

“We were so surprised; we weren’t expecting to see a seal. The kids were so excited. He was just casually swimming. He went under the water and then he came closer to us.  

“We carried on canoeing for an hour or so and on the way back we saw him again at the same spot.” 


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This isn’t the first time a seal has been spotted in Norwich’s River Wensum. Early this year in April, another sighting was reported.  

Whether it’s the same wanderer or another seal who has taken a detour, nobody knows.  

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But Mrs Ashley, from Watton, who was also canoeing with her two children Benjamin, eight, and Emily, six, said it made their day.  

She added: “It was quite exciting. I googled it to see if it’s normal to see him there - but apparently its very unusual. 

"It was amazing, it was a great experience."

A spokesman from the RSPCA said: “Although it may seem odd, it is not unusual for seals to find their way into harbours or rivers and they have been known to travel inland quite some distance. 

“This is often just a case of the seal looking for more food, which is a normal behaviour, and generally they find their way out to sea again. 

“Occasionally seals may get into trouble if they pass canal locks, weirs or similar obstructions as these can prevent the seal travelling back down river to the sea. 


“The RSPCA recommends that if you see a seal that appears healthy, it should be left alone."

You can find more advice about what to do if you see a seal pup in need of help on the RSPCA’s website: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/orphanedanimals/sealpups. 


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