December 12 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Creature is believed to be the same one spotted near Bideford Longbridge earlier this month.
A SEAL believed to be the same one reported in Bideford earlier this month has been photographed at Appledore – and also spotted further up the river near Little America.
Last week 73-year-old Derek Barnes, who lives on the banks of the River Torridge in East-the-Water, reported seeing the curious creature just 20 yards from his home.
And on Tuesday, Dick Glover, from Northam, contacted the Gazette to say the seal was still in the river.
Mr Glover spotted the animal behind one of the piers of Bideford new bridge at low water and managed to photograph the animal from Cleave using a telescope.
He said: “It has been swimming around for half and hour, presumably after the grey mullet that are very plentiful this year.”
Yesterday (Weds), Gazette readers Peter Reveley and Richard Barlow sent in photographs of a seal playing in the water off Appledore.
Mr Reveley said he spotted the creature at low tide: “This is the first time I have seen one at low water off the Bell slip beach.
“I’ve seen grey seal in the lower estuary before but never a black young one like this.
“He (or she) could not go downstream because the sandbanks have now closed the channel, but it seemed very happy to play around in the pool that is left at low tide.”
Mr Barlow spotted a seal on October 6.
“I saw a seal hunting and then resting in the estuary below the Beaver Inn,” he said.
Reader W J Elliott also contacted the paper yesterday to say he’d seen a seal further up the river at Little America, along on the A386 Torrington road.
“The seal drifted towards me about 20 feet distant,” he said of the sighting at 3.30pm on Saturday, October 12.
“After looking around it dived and reappeared on opposite bank. On making my way back up the steps, the driver of a parked van stopped me and said he had been watching it too.”
Alan Harness also contacted the Gazette to say he spotted a seal in the estuary between Appledore and Crow Point on October 2.
In January this year, a seal also became a regular visitor to Fremington Quay.
If you’ve spotted a seal in either estuary, email you photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the newsdesk on 01271 345056.