Worcester's Keith the seal facing uncertain start to 2014

Worcester News: Keith the seal is under threat in 2014 Keith the seal is under threat in 2014

KEITH – Worcester’s resident seal – is facing a very uncertain future at the beginning of 2014.

The grey seal, which is actually a female, was first spotted in the river Severn in November 2012 and has since become something of a local celebrity.

However, her presence in the river has upset local anglers who say she is eating all the fish.

Last year the Angling Trust applied to Natural England for a licence to capture Keith and return her to the sea, although they failed in their bid to catch her.

That licence expired on New Year’s Eve, but January 1 signalled the start of the ‘open season’, meaning that from now until August 31, it is not necessary to have a licence to capture or even kill seals in accordance with the Conservation of Seals Act 1970. Yesterday the Angling Trust was not available to comment on its plans.

But, local campaigners Lisa Ventura and Dave Grubb have started an online petition to save the seal, which has received more than 800 signatures.

It was launched on the seal’s facebook and twitter pages on Sunday, December 29, and has been shared across the country, attracting 850 signatures, and growing, from people in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and the rest of Britain, as well as people from the USA, Germany and France.

Mrs Ventura said: “The petition is to be sent to the Angling Trust, Natural England and to send a message to other anglers who want her moved to leave her be where she is in the Severn.

"That’s what I’m hoping to achieve with it – for her to live in peace in the Severn where she has been for more than a year and where she seems happy.

"I can't see how one seal can have that much of an impact on a whole massive river full of fish.

“I believe she should be left alone – she has been in the Severn for more than a year now so she must like it in there, and if she wants to return to the sea where she came from, she will do so when she is good and ready.”

A previous petition calling for her not to be shot on January 17, 2013, received 4,555 signatures.

Visit gopetition.com/petitions/leave-keith-the-seal-inthe-river-severn.html, or for more information from the Angling Trust visit anglingtrust.net.

 

Comments (19)

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2:35pm Fri 3 Jan 14

liketoknow says...

local anglers say she's eating ALL the fish?
local anglers say she's eating ALL the fish? liketoknow

2:51pm Fri 3 Jan 14

pudniw_gib says...

I would imagine there might be a bit of trouble should anyone harm this creature.
I would imagine there might be a bit of trouble should anyone harm this creature. pudniw_gib

4:19pm Fri 3 Jan 14

countrybumpkin999 says...

"Eating all the Fish" - another example of poor journalism, lazy even. Anglers are not saying the seal is eating "all" the fish but the seal takes, on average, around 100lb of fish a day (i think it actually eats only 40lb as the seal does not eat all the fish). If Keith has been in the river over a year then you do the math! That is a large total of fish eaten.

I have said all along that the longer people moan against people trying to remove the seal, safely, back to its natural habitat are actually putting the seal more at risk of some landowner (losing out on anglers money) taking the matter into their own hands. It is now "open season" so the seal is now at risk. Under the license there was no chance of the seal to be harmed. People may use the argument against me by saying i want the seal gone so it benefits my fishing but this is not actually true. I want the seal moved so that the fish i enjoy seeing and catching are not having their stocks damaged. I feel that the pro-Keith brigade are arguably putting their enjoyment of seeing the seal and taking photos of her ahead of what is best for the animal's welfare. Therefore if something bad happens to the seal they will be partly to blame too.


People are moaning that there are loads of fish - ask any fisherman this is definitely not the case and most people making this assumption are doing so with no actual knowledge on the subject. She has eaten spawning females that carry thousands of eggs and future age classes of fish. The other way of looking at it is that there may be thousands of fish in the river and what difference will losing a few make? Well i could say there are thousands of seals on our coastline what difference will it make if one is shot? I do not want this to happen before i am vilified!

I can't help but think that Keith is given all this media attention and seen as "good" with anglers being "evil" because she has fur, same with otters. Fish are animals too,so are the ducks and other animals that Keith eats. They may not look as pretty but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I just think journalists, especially local ones need to word their articles better. At least they are not voicing anglers as just one group. Thousands of people fish in the area - not everyone is the same and has the same opinion.
"Eating all the Fish" - another example of poor journalism, lazy even. Anglers are not saying the seal is eating "all" the fish but the seal takes, on average, around 100lb of fish a day (i think it actually eats only 40lb as the seal does not eat all the fish). If Keith has been in the river over a year then you do the math! That is a large total of fish eaten. I have said all along that the longer people moan against people trying to remove the seal, safely, back to its natural habitat are actually putting the seal more at risk of some landowner (losing out on anglers money) taking the matter into their own hands. It is now "open season" so the seal is now at risk. Under the license there was no chance of the seal to be harmed. People may use the argument against me by saying i want the seal gone so it benefits my fishing but this is not actually true. I want the seal moved so that the fish i enjoy seeing and catching are not having their stocks damaged. I feel that the pro-Keith brigade are arguably putting their enjoyment of seeing the seal and taking photos of her ahead of what is best for the animal's welfare. Therefore if something bad happens to the seal they will be partly to blame too. People are moaning that there are loads of fish - ask any fisherman this is definitely not the case and most people making this assumption are doing so with no actual knowledge on the subject. She has eaten spawning females that carry thousands of eggs and future age classes of fish. The other way of looking at it is that there may be thousands of fish in the river and what difference will losing a few make? Well i could say there are thousands of seals on our coastline what difference will it make if one is shot? I do not want this to happen before i am vilified! I can't help but think that Keith is given all this media attention and seen as "good" with anglers being "evil" because she has fur, same with otters. Fish are animals too,so are the ducks and other animals that Keith eats. They may not look as pretty but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I just think journalists, especially local ones need to word their articles better. At least they are not voicing anglers as just one group. Thousands of people fish in the area - not everyone is the same and has the same opinion. countrybumpkin999

4:19pm Fri 3 Jan 14

CJH says...

liketoknow wrote:
local anglers say she's eating ALL the fish?
Anglers always exaggerate the size of things don't they?
[quote][p][bold]liketoknow[/bold] wrote: local anglers say she's eating ALL the fish?[/p][/quote]Anglers always exaggerate the size of things don't they? CJH

8:58am Sat 4 Jan 14

tub_thumper says...

""Eating all the Fish" - another example of poor journalism, lazy even. Anglers are not saying the seal is eating "all" the fish but the seal takes, on average, around 100lb of fish a day (i think it actually eats only 40lb as the seal does not eat all the fish). If Keith has been in the river over a year then you do the math! That is a large total of fish eaten"

Wow! It's nice to know that someone is actually with the seal 24/7 to get exact information on how much she eats! It's strange really because she kind of went missing for a bit. Now we know where she's been. She's been closely monitored by countrybumpkin999! What a load nonsense!

People say it's unnatural for the seal to be in the river. But she got here - just like fish and just like ducks. If she's happy here then leave her alone. Stuff conservation! Why should be get involved?

And yes, it is a pleasure to see a seal in a river and it's somewhat become a tourist attraction. But I wouldn't want to force her to stay here any more than you would want to force her back to the sea!

Man has moved around the Earth for thousands of years. Humans originated from Africa. How did we end up all over the globe? Some would say that this is unnatural. It's the same thing. Think about it...
""Eating all the Fish" - another example of poor journalism, lazy even. Anglers are not saying the seal is eating "all" the fish but the seal takes, on average, around 100lb of fish a day (i think it actually eats only 40lb as the seal does not eat all the fish). If Keith has been in the river over a year then you do the math! That is a large total of fish eaten" Wow! It's nice to know that someone is actually with the seal 24/7 to get exact information on how much she eats! It's strange really because she kind of went missing for a bit. Now we know where she's been. She's been closely monitored by countrybumpkin999! What a load nonsense! People say it's unnatural for the seal to be in the river. But she got here - just like fish and just like ducks. If she's happy here then leave her alone. Stuff conservation! Why should be get involved? And yes, it is a pleasure to see a seal in a river and it's somewhat become a tourist attraction. But I wouldn't want to force her to stay here any more than you would want to force her back to the sea! Man has moved around the Earth for thousands of years. Humans originated from Africa. How did we end up all over the globe? Some would say that this is unnatural. It's the same thing. Think about it... tub_thumper

10:22am Sat 4 Jan 14

CJH says...

How many fish do anglers without fishing licences get? Bet it's more than Keith!
How many fish do anglers without fishing licences get? Bet it's more than Keith! CJH

10:40am Sat 4 Jan 14

tub_thumper says...

Down voted?! Truth hurts...
Down voted?! Truth hurts... tub_thumper

1:50pm Sat 4 Jan 14

Karcsi says...

@tub_thumper: That nature gets it right and we should never intervene, is your opinion and not fact.

Grey seals are not the normal predator of fresh water fish this far inland, therefore Keith is having a field day - perhaps why she may be only eating a fraction of what she catches. If she is catching in excess of the replenishment rate, the stock of fish will reduce to a level at which Keith will find it difficult to survive and she should logically move on. What this level is and how long it will take is anyone's guess.

I understand that the majority of anglers release back what they catch (although during this period of recession, this may no longer be so). What would be interesting to hear is how many anglers Keith's annual catch equates to and whether this is considered sustainable.

However, the Angling Trust has had a year to catch the seal. They cannot be that concerned if they have not succeeded - surely it is just a matter of the right resources, rather than inherent difficulty. Or perhaps the bad publicity in successfully capturing Keith would outweigh the benefits.
@tub_thumper: That nature gets it right and we should never intervene, is your opinion and not fact. Grey seals are not the normal predator of fresh water fish this far inland, therefore Keith is having a field day - perhaps why she may be only eating a fraction of what she catches. If she is catching in excess of the replenishment rate, the stock of fish will reduce to a level at which Keith will find it difficult to survive and she should logically move on. What this level is and how long it will take is anyone's guess. I understand that the majority of anglers release back what they catch (although during this period of recession, this may no longer be so). What would be interesting to hear is how many anglers Keith's annual catch equates to and whether this is considered sustainable. However, the Angling Trust has had a year to catch the seal. They cannot be that concerned if they have not succeeded - surely it is just a matter of the right resources, rather than inherent difficulty. Or perhaps the bad publicity in successfully capturing Keith would outweigh the benefits. Karcsi

3:56pm Sat 4 Jan 14

liketoknow says...

Karcsi wrote:
@tub_thumper: That nature gets it right and we should never intervene, is your opinion and not fact.

Grey seals are not the normal predator of fresh water fish this far inland, therefore Keith is having a field day - perhaps why she may be only eating a fraction of what she catches. If she is catching in excess of the replenishment rate, the stock of fish will reduce to a level at which Keith will find it difficult to survive and she should logically move on. What this level is and how long it will take is anyone's guess.

I understand that the majority of anglers release back what they catch (although during this period of recession, this may no longer be so). What would be interesting to hear is how many anglers Keith's annual catch equates to and whether this is considered sustainable.

However, the Angling Trust has had a year to catch the seal. They cannot be that concerned if they have not succeeded - surely it is just a matter of the right resources, rather than inherent difficulty. Or perhaps the bad publicity in successfully capturing Keith would outweigh the benefits.
if she's been there a year it can't be doing her much harm.
[quote][p][bold]Karcsi[/bold] wrote: @tub_thumper: That nature gets it right and we should never intervene, is your opinion and not fact. Grey seals are not the normal predator of fresh water fish this far inland, therefore Keith is having a field day - perhaps why she may be only eating a fraction of what she catches. If she is catching in excess of the replenishment rate, the stock of fish will reduce to a level at which Keith will find it difficult to survive and she should logically move on. What this level is and how long it will take is anyone's guess. I understand that the majority of anglers release back what they catch (although during this period of recession, this may no longer be so). What would be interesting to hear is how many anglers Keith's annual catch equates to and whether this is considered sustainable. However, the Angling Trust has had a year to catch the seal. They cannot be that concerned if they have not succeeded - surely it is just a matter of the right resources, rather than inherent difficulty. Or perhaps the bad publicity in successfully capturing Keith would outweigh the benefits.[/p][/quote]if she's been there a year it can't be doing her much harm. liketoknow

3:58pm Sat 4 Jan 14

New Kid on the Block says...

With all the current flooding the seal could easily move to an area of water away from the normal course of the river - fish do and being a predator she is likely to follow.
When the water level drops you could then easily end up with a landlocked and starving seal.
What happens next?
Do you follow the non-interventionist route, return to the river or return to the sea?
With all the current flooding the seal could easily move to an area of water away from the normal course of the river - fish do and being a predator she is likely to follow. When the water level drops you could then easily end up with a landlocked and starving seal. What happens next? Do you follow the non-interventionist route, return to the river or return to the sea? New Kid on the Block

4:06pm Sat 4 Jan 14

liketoknow says...

countrybumpkin999 wrote:
"Eating all the Fish" - another example of poor journalism, lazy even. Anglers are not saying the seal is eating "all" the fish but the seal takes, on average, around 100lb of fish a day (i think it actually eats only 40lb as the seal does not eat all the fish). If Keith has been in the river over a year then you do the math! That is a large total of fish eaten.

I have said all along that the longer people moan against people trying to remove the seal, safely, back to its natural habitat are actually putting the seal more at risk of some landowner (losing out on anglers money) taking the matter into their own hands. It is now "open season" so the seal is now at risk. Under the license there was no chance of the seal to be harmed. People may use the argument against me by saying i want the seal gone so it benefits my fishing but this is not actually true. I want the seal moved so that the fish i enjoy seeing and catching are not having their stocks damaged. I feel that the pro-Keith brigade are arguably putting their enjoyment of seeing the seal and taking photos of her ahead of what is best for the animal's welfare. Therefore if something bad happens to the seal they will be partly to blame too.


People are moaning that there are loads of fish - ask any fisherman this is definitely not the case and most people making this assumption are doing so with no actual knowledge on the subject. She has eaten spawning females that carry thousands of eggs and future age classes of fish. The other way of looking at it is that there may be thousands of fish in the river and what difference will losing a few make? Well i could say there are thousands of seals on our coastline what difference will it make if one is shot? I do not want this to happen before i am vilified!

I can't help but think that Keith is given all this media attention and seen as "good" with anglers being "evil" because she has fur, same with otters. Fish are animals too,so are the ducks and other animals that Keith eats. They may not look as pretty but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I just think journalists, especially local ones need to word their articles better. At least they are not voicing anglers as just one group. Thousands of people fish in the area - not everyone is the same and has the same opinion.
that's the same 'furry' argument the prohunt brigade trots out from time to time. I prefer to believe that so many people get involved because they don't like persecution of animals.
[quote][p][bold]countrybumpkin999[/bold] wrote: "Eating all the Fish" - another example of poor journalism, lazy even. Anglers are not saying the seal is eating "all" the fish but the seal takes, on average, around 100lb of fish a day (i think it actually eats only 40lb as the seal does not eat all the fish). If Keith has been in the river over a year then you do the math! That is a large total of fish eaten. I have said all along that the longer people moan against people trying to remove the seal, safely, back to its natural habitat are actually putting the seal more at risk of some landowner (losing out on anglers money) taking the matter into their own hands. It is now "open season" so the seal is now at risk. Under the license there was no chance of the seal to be harmed. People may use the argument against me by saying i want the seal gone so it benefits my fishing but this is not actually true. I want the seal moved so that the fish i enjoy seeing and catching are not having their stocks damaged. I feel that the pro-Keith brigade are arguably putting their enjoyment of seeing the seal and taking photos of her ahead of what is best for the animal's welfare. Therefore if something bad happens to the seal they will be partly to blame too. People are moaning that there are loads of fish - ask any fisherman this is definitely not the case and most people making this assumption are doing so with no actual knowledge on the subject. She has eaten spawning females that carry thousands of eggs and future age classes of fish. The other way of looking at it is that there may be thousands of fish in the river and what difference will losing a few make? Well i could say there are thousands of seals on our coastline what difference will it make if one is shot? I do not want this to happen before i am vilified! I can't help but think that Keith is given all this media attention and seen as "good" with anglers being "evil" because she has fur, same with otters. Fish are animals too,so are the ducks and other animals that Keith eats. They may not look as pretty but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I just think journalists, especially local ones need to word their articles better. At least they are not voicing anglers as just one group. Thousands of people fish in the area - not everyone is the same and has the same opinion.[/p][/quote]that's the same 'furry' argument the prohunt brigade trots out from time to time. I prefer to believe that so many people get involved because they don't like persecution of animals. liketoknow

4:26pm Sat 4 Jan 14

tub_thumper says...

New Kid on the Block wrote:
With all the current flooding the seal could easily move to an area of water away from the normal course of the river - fish do and being a predator she is likely to follow.
When the water level drops you could then easily end up with a landlocked and starving seal.
What happens next?
Do you follow the non-interventionist route, return to the river or return to the sea?
Bloody hell. Floods now. Yeah, I'll probably return her back to either the river or the sea. But at the moment, she's not starving and not really causing a problem to anyone. So until she gets landlocked then let her be. Floods happen once or twice a year.

@Karcsi wrote: "That nature gets it right and we should never intervene, is your opinion and not fact". Like @countrybumpkin999, you appear to be with Kieth 24/7 in order to watch her every move. How do you know what she eats? You base your "knowledge" on generic seal behaviour. So, unfortunately your argument is only based on opinion too.

Going on averages then, I don't know where @countrybumpkin999 got his or her information from that Keith catches 100lb of fish a day?! Even eating only 40lb of fish is still, on average (and therefore an opinion), a hell of a lot of fish! Her daily food requirement should be estimated to be 11 lb although the seal does not feed every day and it fasts during the breeding season. In fact, with the amount of food scraps that are littered by ourselves, she probably eats less than that! But that is based on averages of a seal at sea. Her habits are probably totally different - like apparently eating ducks.
[quote][p][bold]New Kid on the Block[/bold] wrote: With all the current flooding the seal could easily move to an area of water away from the normal course of the river - fish do and being a predator she is likely to follow. When the water level drops you could then easily end up with a landlocked and starving seal. What happens next? Do you follow the non-interventionist route, return to the river or return to the sea?[/p][/quote]Bloody hell. Floods now. Yeah, I'll probably return her back to either the river or the sea. But at the moment, she's not starving and not really causing a problem to anyone. So until she gets landlocked then let her be. Floods happen once or twice a year. @Karcsi wrote: "That nature gets it right and we should never intervene, is your opinion and not fact". Like @countrybumpkin999, you appear to be with Kieth 24/7 in order to watch her every move. How do you know what she eats? You base your "knowledge" on generic seal behaviour. So, unfortunately your argument is only based on opinion too. Going on averages then, I don't know where @countrybumpkin999 got his or her information from that Keith catches 100lb of fish a day?! Even eating only 40lb of fish is still, on average (and therefore an opinion), a hell of a lot of fish! Her daily food requirement should be estimated to be 11 lb although the seal does not feed every day and it fasts during the breeding season. In fact, with the amount of food scraps that are littered by ourselves, she probably eats less than that! But that is based on averages of a seal at sea. Her habits are probably totally different - like apparently eating ducks. tub_thumper

8:39pm Sat 4 Jan 14

mauro balbino says...

1819 (petition)
1819 (petition) mauro balbino

10:59pm Sat 4 Jan 14

New Kid on the Block says...

tub_thumper wrote:
New Kid on the Block wrote:
With all the current flooding the seal could easily move to an area of water away from the normal course of the river - fish do and being a predator she is likely to follow.
When the water level drops you could then easily end up with a landlocked and starving seal.
What happens next?
Do you follow the non-interventionist route, return to the river or return to the sea?
Bloody hell. Floods now. Yeah, I'll probably return her back to either the river or the sea. But at the moment, she's not starving and not really causing a problem to anyone. So until she gets landlocked then let her be. Floods happen once or twice a year.

@Karcsi wrote: "That nature gets it right and we should never intervene, is your opinion and not fact". Like @countrybumpkin999, you appear to be with Kieth 24/7 in order to watch her every move. How do you know what she eats? You base your "knowledge" on generic seal behaviour. So, unfortunately your argument is only based on opinion too.

Going on averages then, I don't know where @countrybumpkin999 got his or her information from that Keith catches 100lb of fish a day?! Even eating only 40lb of fish is still, on average (and therefore an opinion), a hell of a lot of fish! Her daily food requirement should be estimated to be 11 lb although the seal does not feed every day and it fasts during the breeding season. In fact, with the amount of food scraps that are littered by ourselves, she probably eats less than that! But that is based on averages of a seal at sea. Her habits are probably totally different - like apparently eating ducks.
Which one would you return her to River or Sea? That was the point I was trying to make. Where is a seal most at home - in its natural habitat or in one where it may have become acclimatised after getting trapped?

As for eating ducks I did some reading a while ago and it appears that seals will eat ducks but don't find them very palatable. Something to do with all those feathers. So if this seal is eating ducks could it mean that there is a localised lack of fish?
[quote][p][bold]tub_thumper[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]New Kid on the Block[/bold] wrote: With all the current flooding the seal could easily move to an area of water away from the normal course of the river - fish do and being a predator she is likely to follow. When the water level drops you could then easily end up with a landlocked and starving seal. What happens next? Do you follow the non-interventionist route, return to the river or return to the sea?[/p][/quote]Bloody hell. Floods now. Yeah, I'll probably return her back to either the river or the sea. But at the moment, she's not starving and not really causing a problem to anyone. So until she gets landlocked then let her be. Floods happen once or twice a year. @Karcsi wrote: "That nature gets it right and we should never intervene, is your opinion and not fact". Like @countrybumpkin999, you appear to be with Kieth 24/7 in order to watch her every move. How do you know what she eats? You base your "knowledge" on generic seal behaviour. So, unfortunately your argument is only based on opinion too. Going on averages then, I don't know where @countrybumpkin999 got his or her information from that Keith catches 100lb of fish a day?! Even eating only 40lb of fish is still, on average (and therefore an opinion), a hell of a lot of fish! Her daily food requirement should be estimated to be 11 lb although the seal does not feed every day and it fasts during the breeding season. In fact, with the amount of food scraps that are littered by ourselves, she probably eats less than that! But that is based on averages of a seal at sea. Her habits are probably totally different - like apparently eating ducks.[/p][/quote]Which one would you return her to River or Sea? That was the point I was trying to make. Where is a seal most at home - in its natural habitat or in one where it may have become acclimatised after getting trapped? As for eating ducks I did some reading a while ago and it appears that seals will eat ducks but don't find them very palatable. Something to do with all those feathers. So if this seal is eating ducks could it mean that there is a localised lack of fish? New Kid on the Block

10:12am Sun 5 Jan 14

tub_thumper says...

New Kid on the Block wrote:
tub_thumper wrote:
New Kid on the Block wrote:
With all the current flooding the seal could easily move to an area of water away from the normal course of the river - fish do and being a predator she is likely to follow.
When the water level drops you could then easily end up with a landlocked and starving seal.
What happens next?
Do you follow the non-interventionist route, return to the river or return to the sea?
Bloody hell. Floods now. Yeah, I'll probably return her back to either the river or the sea. But at the moment, she's not starving and not really causing a problem to anyone. So until she gets landlocked then let her be. Floods happen once or twice a year.

@Karcsi wrote: "That nature gets it right and we should never intervene, is your opinion and not fact". Like @countrybumpkin999, you appear to be with Kieth 24/7 in order to watch her every move. How do you know what she eats? You base your "knowledge" on generic seal behaviour. So, unfortunately your argument is only based on opinion too.

Going on averages then, I don't know where @countrybumpkin999 got his or her information from that Keith catches 100lb of fish a day?! Even eating only 40lb of fish is still, on average (and therefore an opinion), a hell of a lot of fish! Her daily food requirement should be estimated to be 11 lb although the seal does not feed every day and it fasts during the breeding season. In fact, with the amount of food scraps that are littered by ourselves, she probably eats less than that! But that is based on averages of a seal at sea. Her habits are probably totally different - like apparently eating ducks.
Which one would you return her to River or Sea? That was the point I was trying to make. Where is a seal most at home - in its natural habitat or in one where it may have become acclimatised after getting trapped?

As for eating ducks I did some reading a while ago and it appears that seals will eat ducks but don't find them very palatable. Something to do with all those feathers. So if this seal is eating ducks could it mean that there is a localised lack of fish?
I doubt there is a lack if fish. Like I said, our dirty lifestyles will probably keep the seal happy. There's plenty of Salmon, Barbel, Bleak, Bream, Chub, Dace, Grayling, Pike, Roach, Shad, Trout and Elvers and Eels... She probably goes up and down stream - not just staying in Worcester. Plenty of food!

Not many reports of Pike being caught by fishermen. Dace is also difficult to catch and ess desireable since the fish disease of the 1960's. If these fish are left alone by man then Keith will probably enjoy them!

As for eating ducks, they're probably easier to catch than fish. She probably thought she'll give them a go. And as New Kid rightly said, whether she likes them or not is the next thing..
[quote][p][bold]New Kid on the Block[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tub_thumper[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]New Kid on the Block[/bold] wrote: With all the current flooding the seal could easily move to an area of water away from the normal course of the river - fish do and being a predator she is likely to follow. When the water level drops you could then easily end up with a landlocked and starving seal. What happens next? Do you follow the non-interventionist route, return to the river or return to the sea?[/p][/quote]Bloody hell. Floods now. Yeah, I'll probably return her back to either the river or the sea. But at the moment, she's not starving and not really causing a problem to anyone. So until she gets landlocked then let her be. Floods happen once or twice a year. @Karcsi wrote: "That nature gets it right and we should never intervene, is your opinion and not fact". Like @countrybumpkin999, you appear to be with Kieth 24/7 in order to watch her every move. How do you know what she eats? You base your "knowledge" on generic seal behaviour. So, unfortunately your argument is only based on opinion too. Going on averages then, I don't know where @countrybumpkin999 got his or her information from that Keith catches 100lb of fish a day?! Even eating only 40lb of fish is still, on average (and therefore an opinion), a hell of a lot of fish! Her daily food requirement should be estimated to be 11 lb although the seal does not feed every day and it fasts during the breeding season. In fact, with the amount of food scraps that are littered by ourselves, she probably eats less than that! But that is based on averages of a seal at sea. Her habits are probably totally different - like apparently eating ducks.[/p][/quote]Which one would you return her to River or Sea? That was the point I was trying to make. Where is a seal most at home - in its natural habitat or in one where it may have become acclimatised after getting trapped? As for eating ducks I did some reading a while ago and it appears that seals will eat ducks but don't find them very palatable. Something to do with all those feathers. So if this seal is eating ducks could it mean that there is a localised lack of fish?[/p][/quote]I doubt there is a lack if fish. Like I said, our dirty lifestyles will probably keep the seal happy. There's plenty of Salmon, Barbel, Bleak, Bream, Chub, Dace, Grayling, Pike, Roach, Shad, Trout and Elvers and Eels... She probably goes up and down stream - not just staying in Worcester. Plenty of food! Not many reports of Pike being caught by fishermen. Dace is also difficult to catch and ess desireable since the fish disease of the 1960's. If these fish are left alone by man then Keith will probably enjoy them! As for eating ducks, they're probably easier to catch than fish. She probably thought she'll give them a go. And as New Kid rightly said, whether she likes them or not is the next thing.. tub_thumper

4:36pm Sun 5 Jan 14

imustbeoldiwearacap says...

If she has any sense - with the flooding at the moment the way is clear to swim back to the sea (no weirs to negotiate). I'm for her being returned to the sea (under her own steam or capture) after all her instinct will be to mate - and given the bachelor seal population in Worcestershire......
.! Estuary seals are common - but they are able and want to get back to the open sea! It's selfish of us to keep her here for our amusement!!!
If she has any sense - with the flooding at the moment the way is clear to swim back to the sea (no weirs to negotiate). I'm for her being returned to the sea (under her own steam or capture) after all her instinct will be to mate - and given the bachelor seal population in Worcestershire...... .! Estuary seals are common - but they are able and want to get back to the open sea! It's selfish of us to keep her here for our amusement!!! imustbeoldiwearacap

7:23pm Sun 5 Jan 14

New Kid on the Block says...

imustbeoldiwearacap wrote:
If she has any sense - with the flooding at the moment the way is clear to swim back to the sea (no weirs to negotiate). I'm for her being returned to the sea (under her own steam or capture) after all her instinct will be to mate - and given the bachelor seal population in Worcestershire......

.! Estuary seals are common - but they are able and want to get back to the open sea! It's selfish of us to keep her here for our amusement!!!
Well said.
Your last sentence says a lot.
How many people think that she should stay because they might like to watch her one day?
This is not a tame animal, it is a wild predatory one, larger than any land based predator native to the U.K. and in many peoples opinion it should be allowed to lead a natural life and express its normal behaviour. In fact the animal welfare act of 2006 states that an animal's needs shall be taken to include its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns,
So keeping a marine animal in the confines of a river away from its own kind could be taken as preventing this.
Leaving aside the argument about fish stocks there is a straightforward welfare argument for returning this animal to the sea.
[quote][p][bold]imustbeoldiwearacap[/bold] wrote: If she has any sense - with the flooding at the moment the way is clear to swim back to the sea (no weirs to negotiate). I'm for her being returned to the sea (under her own steam or capture) after all her instinct will be to mate - and given the bachelor seal population in Worcestershire...... .! Estuary seals are common - but they are able and want to get back to the open sea! It's selfish of us to keep her here for our amusement!!![/p][/quote]Well said. Your last sentence says a lot. How many people think that she should stay because they might like to watch her one day? This is not a tame animal, it is a wild predatory one, larger than any land based predator native to the U.K. and in many peoples opinion it should be allowed to lead a natural life and express its normal behaviour. In fact the animal welfare act of 2006 states that an animal's needs shall be taken to include its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns, So keeping a marine animal in the confines of a river away from its own kind could be taken as preventing this. Leaving aside the argument about fish stocks there is a straightforward welfare argument for returning this animal to the sea. New Kid on the Block

10:23am Mon 6 Jan 14

Who really cares says...

A year goes by and still we have this story!
A year goes by and still we have this story! Who really cares

5:18pm Mon 6 Jan 14

liketoknow says...

New Kid on the Block wrote:
With all the current flooding the seal could easily move to an area of water away from the normal course of the river - fish do and being a predator she is likely to follow.
When the water level drops you could then easily end up with a landlocked and starving seal.
What happens next?
Do you follow the non-interventionist route, return to the river or return to the sea?
I've just checked. seals can walk!
[quote][p][bold]New Kid on the Block[/bold] wrote: With all the current flooding the seal could easily move to an area of water away from the normal course of the river - fish do and being a predator she is likely to follow. When the water level drops you could then easily end up with a landlocked and starving seal. What happens next? Do you follow the non-interventionist route, return to the river or return to the sea?[/p][/quote]I've just checked. seals can walk! liketoknow

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