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Has Keith found a friend for frolics?
9:20am Friday 11th January 2013 in News
COULD our front page picture show that Keith the seal has been joined by a friend as he roams the Severn in Worcestershire?
Russell Farraday could not believe his eyes when he spotted not one but two seals frolicking on the flooded meadow to the rear of his Hanley Castle home.
Mr Farraday, aged 64, said the pair could be seen swimming and ‘oinking’ at each other as the enjoyed the waters on Saturday.
But before Keith fans get carried away, Alan Ottaway, spokesman for the Seal Protection Action Group, said it did not necessarily mean they were partners or the possibility of the pitter-patter of tiny flippers. “It might be a couple of youngsters who are sticking together or, theoretically, there is the possibility that it is the mother and her young but it is really hard to say without seeing them,” he said.
Mr Farraday, of the Rhydd, Hanley Castle, believed the seals may have been in the area for a couple of days.
On Friday his daughter Erica Timbrell, aged 31, had been walking her dog near the meadow when she heard splashing which upset the pet.
Mr Farraday said: “We have an interest in the river, living next to it and have been following the stories of the seal.
“I went to the edge of the water and looked out and that’s when I saw the pair of them. I ran back in, got my camera and watched them with my wife.”
Keith has moved up and downstream in the Severn since it was first spotted in November. Since then it has been seen at Bewdley, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcester and Upton.
But not everyone has been excited about the seal’s arrival. River conservationists and anglers had warned the mammal was damaging fish stocks.
e Seal experts have said it is unlikely that Keith the seal is pregnant.
It was suggested when the seal first appeared that it may have been pregnant.
But Alan Ottaway said the breeding season was between September and December. “The pups would then be expected to suckle for two to three weeks after but she, if she is a she, is not on the breeding grounds.”
TO SEE VIDEO OF KEITH, GO TO MALVERNGAZETTE.CO.UK