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Exclusive: first footage of Kent seahorse

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Picture courtesy Kent Wildlife Trust.
Picture courtesy Kent Wildlife Trust.

Captured for the first time - this 3in seahorse is making Kent history.

The incredibly shy creature may be oblivious to the fact, but he is starring in what is believed to be unique footage.

Discovered close to Dover Harbour, the short-snouted seahorse has never before been caught on camera in its natural environment.

The discovery was made during Kent Wildlife Trust's first official Kent Seasearch dive survey of the year.

Two volunteer divers, Brian Stockwell and Ian Barrie, found the sea creature in Shakespeare Bay, south-west of the harbour. Video taken by the divers confirmed it to be a short-snouted seahorse (hippocampus hippocampus).

See opposite, the unique footage.

Bryony Chapman is a diver and Marine Officer for Kent Wildlife Trust.

She said: "We have had occasional reports of seahorses washed up around the Kent coast.

"But we believe this is the first sighting and film of these elusive creatures in their natural environment in this area, so the team is very excited."

Short-snouted and spiny seahorses are being given special protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Kent Seasearch is run by Kent Wildlife Trust and is part of a national programme for volunteer divers to help protect marine wildlife.

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