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Trust no longer wants to kill seal
8:20am Tuesday 5th February 2013 in News
ANGLERS say they are no longer seeking to kill Worcestershire’s resident seal.
The Angling Trust previously said it had been forced to contact Natural England to secure a licence for a qualified marksman to shoot the seal – affectionately named Keith – over fears she would eat all the fish and damage the river’s ecosystem.
Keith has been regularly spotted in the river Severn and the trust’s comments sparked outrage among her fans.
The trust has now removed its original statement and is instead supporting a petition to have the Environment Agency relocate Keith back to her natural coastal habitat.
The peition has already attracted nearly 3,500 signatures.
The Environment Agency says it will monitor the situation but maintains the seal should eventually makes its own way back to sea.
Lisa Ventura, administrator of the Save Keith the Seal Facebook page, which set up the petition, said it had been a PR disaster for The Angling Trust.
She said: “We have had anglers posting on our page saying they think it is awful what they have been suggesting and I have seen messages on the trust’s Facebook page calling for senior figures to stand down over it.
“I would prefer to see Keith stay.
She has captured my heart and a lot of other people’s, but this isn’t her home so it is probably for the best that she is returned.”
Canoeists first spotted the seal near a battle site in Powick where she earned her name Keith after a Royalist commander in the English Civil War.
She has since been spotted in Upton, Stourport, Bewdley and most recently at the Lenchford Inn, Shrawley.
Anyone wishing to sign the petition should log on to gopeti tion.com/petitions/save-keiththe- seal.html.