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Seal-spotting likely in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 22:00 06 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:36 03 March 2010

SEALS have been spotted heading into Ipswich!

The inquisitive creatures have been seen in the River Orwell at Pin Mill in the past few weeks, and one witness said they seemed to be swimming towards the town.

SEALS have been spotted heading into Ipswich!

The inquisitive creatures have been seen in the River Orwell at Pin Mill in the past few weeks, and one witness said they seemed to be swimming towards the town.

Mark Barnes, who works in the Evening Star press room, goes out to his boat at weekends to fish.

He was delighted to catch a rare glimpse of the flippered friends.

Mr Barnes, of Matlock Close, Ipswich, said: "I've seen them two weekends out of the last three. They're believed to be feeding on eels.

"They've been spotted up and down the river, and they seem to be heading into town."

The news comes after we reported on Wednesday how dog owners walking their animals on beaches at Felixstowe were being urged to take extra care because of the deadly seal distemper virus.

The virus – which killed 18,000 common seals when it broke out in 1988 and is expected to again devastate the seal population – can be caught by dogs.

Seals live off the Suffolk coast and occasionally do come ashore or very close to land and walkers are being advised to be careful if their dogs run off the lead and investigate objects on the beach.

Environmental health experts though are now offering cautionary advice to beach walkers because the latest outbreak of the Phocine Distemper Virus (PDV) has spread to the seals living close to East Anglia's coastline.

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