Published: 14:16, 11 April 2021
| Updated: 14:22, 11 April 2021
A seal has been spotted swimming in a Kent river - prompting RSPCA officers to remind pet owners to keep their distance.
Worried onlookers were concerned over the seal's health after it was spotted in the water and the river bank.
However, the RSPCA says the animal appears in good health and it is carefully monitoring the situation. But it urges onlookers - and their pets - to keep their distance.
An RSPCA spokesperson said: “We’d like to reassure the public that ourselves and the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) are monitoring the situation and the seal is healthy and not in any distress.
“It’s normal for seals to sit on a beach or bank for long periods of time and they could actually be resting or 'sun-bathing'.
“We would therefore like to remind the public to please remember that these are wild animals and need to be left alone.
“We know that seals in the wild are an incredible sight to see, but people must remember that we need to respect nature and enjoy from a distance, and never interfere or get too close to them.
“We would also like to remind dog owners to please keep their dogs on a lead around wildlife.”
It's the not the first time in recent weeks a seal has been spotted in the river. One was swimming near Allington earlier this month.