Published: 17:09, 23 April 2021
| Updated: 17:42, 23 April 2021
Volunteers have revealed how close they got to rescuing a trapped seal from the River Medway.
Mark Stevens, director of operations for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), says they managed to get the mammal’s head inside a trap in the river in Maidstone on Thursday.
But Bradley, who was first seen on April 2, managed to break free.
Mr Stevens said: “Obviously, you can’t catch him within the width of the river.
“We have had some issues with the mud. We actually had his head in a trap on Thursday but he managed to wiggle his way out.
“Obviously, he is quite a lively seal.
"There is nothing too much wrong with him, other than he is in the wrong place, which is delighting most and clearly upsetting a few.
“I wasn’t there but my colleagues nearly had him on Thursday but he managed to slither through.
“They had his head inside a hooped net but he got out, and it all just carries on really.”
Last weekend, the BDMLR team thanked the public for their help and dismissed claims the public were crowding around the site.
But Mr Stevens, who works full-time as a teacher, did warn members of the public not to get too close to Bradley.
He said: “People seem to be being respectful. Obviously, the big concern is the people who I suppose are going to see him with malicious intent.
“The other big concern is we have seen photos of people who have managed to get really close to offer him something - I guess something to eat.
“But this animal will bite.
"When we carry out these rescues, we accept that risk and many of us have the bite marks to prove it. But they will bite and that's what worries me.”
“I will pop in but whether we are in any sort of position to do a rescue attempt is another matter,” Mr Stevens added when asked if he would check on Bradley this weekend.
“I’ll have a look and see how things are going.
“We will probably have a discussion at some stage tonight about when we will go back.
“Our whole team, like myself, are all volunteers so we have to fit it around our other commitments.”
If you see the seal, you should call the BDMLR on 01825 765546.
Bradley was first spotted by Philip and Conan Anderson.