Bristol pub-goers stunned as seal pup appears at front door after epic journey

Drinkers at a Bristol pub were left baffled after a baby seal was spotted waddling up to the front door.

The pup's tag revealed the animal had travelled all the way from Scotland before it ended up outside the Old Lock and Weir in Hanham on January 2.

Landlord Daniel Rawlins said: "He was wandering up outside on the road heading towards the pub. He got to the wall and was literally at the front door.

"He was a hit with the customers - he was a bit of a cutie, to be honest. He'd come a long way for a pint!"

Nacho outside the Old Lock and Weir in Hanham. Credit: BPM Media/Bristol Live

The seal had initially appeared on the slipway next to the pub at about 11.30am. Staff looked after him until they eventually let him swim off.

Daniel said: "We didn't really know what to do and thought we'd let nature take its course as he seemed like he wanted to get back in the water, and he swam off."

About half an hour later, the seal reappeared, he said - this time fully getting out of the water and making a break for dry land.

Nacho boxed off to keep him safe while in Bristol. Credit: BPM Media/Bristol Live

Staff managed to keep him in a safe place by placing empty bread crates around him, but Daniel said he was a "bit of an escape artist".

He added: "We were taking it in turns to take care of him until the rescue team arrived - even the customers joined in when it was busy and we staff were needed in the kitchen.

"I could sense he was good around humans; he wasn't stressed or anything."

RSPCA officers and a team from the British Divers' Marine Life Rescue Centre eventually got the seal to safety after staff called for help.

Nacho will be nursed back to health before being released back into the wild. Credit: The Old Lock & Weir

The charity confirmed it is now caring for the seal in its intensive care unit at West Hatch wildlife hospital.

Daniel said the seal was identified as a pup known to the RSPCA as Neoprene, nicknamed 'Nacho', who was tagged in Scotland on June 21 last year.

The Old Lock and Weir is about 300 miles away by road from the Scottish border, and the journey could have been even longer depending on where exactly the seal was tagged and which route it took.