Baby seal rescued in Norfolk after late-night trip to pizza and kebab shop

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The pup was eventually carried to safety after rescuers found it outside an amusement arcade. Credit: PA

A baby seal had to be rescued by experts after it took a late-night trip inland and headed towards a kebab shop and an arcade.

The grey seal was discovered near the Istanbul Delight shop, hundreds of metres inland, in Hemsby near Great Yarmouth around 11pm on Friday 20 January.

Marine and Wildlife Rescue was called to the scene after the organisation was sent pictures of the pup.

Dan Goldsmith, chairman of the Great Yarmouth-based rescue centre, told the PA news agency: "After searching the area for some time, we eventually found the seal shuffling along on a path outside an amusement arcade called the Mirage.

"The pup must have just been looking for some shelter, but got disorientated and kept heading inland."

Rescuers carried the seal back to the beach on a stretcher Credit: Dan Goldsmith/Marine and Wildlife Rescue

Mr Goldsmith, 38, said the juvenile marine mammal was in good health and he and a colleague loaded it on to a stretcher to carry it back to the beach.

He added that such sightings of seals inland are becoming more common as a result of surging populations in the UK in recent years.

"This was more the unusual end of what we do, but this is becoming more of a common occurrence... we responded to one the day before funnily enough, it was out on a road quite a few miles inland," Mr Goldsmith said.

Grey seal numbers in the UK dropped as low as 500 in the early 20th century, but there are now estimated to be 120,000 - and it is this population boom, coupled with the recent pupping season, that Mr Goldsmith said is behind the rise in sightings.

Mr Goldsmith, from Gorleston-on-Sea, warned those spotting seal pups inland not to approach them and to call for expert help.

"They're very quick and responsive... and they can look very docile and friendly, but they're not, they are really quite hostile things, he said.

The UK's largest grey seal colony is along the Norfolk coast at Blakeney where around 4,500 pups are expected to be born this winter.

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