KEITH the seal has been making a splash as she was spotted twice near Worcester after seven months of no sightings.

Dog walkers Gail Ashenden and her daughter Louise Price were left speechless after they spotted the seal on Monday.

The pair had been walking along the Ham in Kemspey when their dogs Bentley, a lurcher, and dalmatian Juno disappeared to the riverbanks.

After hearing “an almighty splash”, puppy Juno returned looking scared and the pair worried Bentley had got into trouble in the water.

Mrs Ashenden, of Medway Road, Worcester, said: “We were a bit worried about what we would find but when we went to the riverbank we couldn’t believe our eyes.

“My dog was standing there scared to death, eye to eye with the seal.

“It was almost like he wanted to play with her but didn’t know what to do.

“My daughter saw her first and couldn’t believe it, she turned to me and asked if it was a seal and I told her it definitely was.”


Mrs Ashenden, aged 45, called the RSPCA, who put her in contact with rescue divers.

“I hadn’t heard about the seal before but it was someone at the sanctuary who told me that she had been appearing in the area last year.”

As Keith appeared to be in good health, the sanctuary said she was best left where she was and the mother and daughter watched her for about 30 minutes.

The county’s resident seal was also seen yesterday, floating on the surface tucking into a salmon she had caught for about 10 minutes.

Sebastian Abbatiello, aged 53, of Pershore, saw Keith at about 8am while indulging in a spot of fishing himself on the river banks in Severn Stoke, Worcestershire.

“It was such a rare occurence and great to see,” he said. “Not many fisherman will have had an exprience like that.”

Mr Abbatiello said he believes Keith has realised the Severn has become a good hunting ground once again as salmon are passing through at this time of year.

The seal has been hitting the headlines since she was first spotted in the river near Powick in November last year.

Canoeists nicknamed her Keith after a Royalist commander who had fought on a battlefield close to where the marine mammal was spotted.