Anglers Irate As Seal Trapped In Fishing Lake Gorges Itself Like It’s At A Golden Corral

A seal trapped in a fishing lake in Essex, England, has been eating through a fishery’s stocks since roughly Dec. 12, evading attempts at capture since he was first spotted, one marine medic says.

The seal probably swam up an inlet and became stuck in Rochford Reservoir, The Guardian reported Wednesday, citing Simon Dennis, a marine medic and member of British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR). The reservoir has been licensed to Nick North of Marks Hall Fisheries for the past 11 years. North said the lake was “one of the best park angling lakes for all types of anglers.”

North has partnered with the Rochford district council, BDMLR, the Environment Agency and Essex constabulary’s wildlife team to try and capture the seal, The Guardian reported. Previous rescue attempts proved unsuccessful after the animal slipped under a net earlier in January. (RELATED: Police ‘Detain’ Baby Seal Found Wandering Around Long Island)

“To see all this lost due to a seal getting into a lake where it doesn’t belong is ridiculous,” North told the BBC. “When I asked about the damage the seal was causing to my stock of fish, I was told that didn’t come into consideration as the seals were a protected species and the fish weren’t.”

“This seal needs to be removed as soon as possible. Seals live in the sea, not freshwater lakes,” he added.

“We do want this animal to be relocated as much as the angling community do,” BDMLR said in a statement, according to the BBC. “It cannot exhibit normal ‘seal’ behavior on its own (they are social, colony animals) and all agencies involved do appreciate the detrimental effect on the other species in the lake.”

Dennis told the BBC the seal needs to be caught and returned to the sea. “But now it probably has no incentive to leave as it’s found itself in a branch of Waitrose and it’s munching its way through the fish,” Dennis said.

Dennis said the seal appeared to have minor injuries on his eye and flipper, The Guardian reported. The latter injury was likely caused by a fishing line, according to the outlet. Otherwise the seal seemed to maintain a normal appetite. Dave Sperring of the Rochford District Council reportedly asked residents to keep their dogs on a leash and apologized to anglers for the inconvenience.

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