MERSEYSIDE, England, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- A young male seal was found stranded in an open field in rural northwest England, some 20 miles from the coast. Rescue workers used a piece of mackerel to capture the animal for medical care.
Authorities said the distressed marine mammal likely got lost when traveling up the River Mersey and diverted into a brook. A person walking a dog spotted it and called police.
The flopping seal quickly became a spectacle for local onlookers as police tried to herd the animal, first using brooms and pieces of wood and then a piece of fish.
Gary Watkinson, who owns the land where the seal decided to rest, told the Liverpool Echo that he spotted it laying in the mud.
"It's definitely come up from the brook near here. I tracked its movements and you can see the marks in the soil," he said.
The British Divers Marine Life Rescue Service said the rescue was a challenge because the animal is so big. The nearest gray seal colony is about 50 miles away, so the seal may have traveled even farther than first thought.
"We think he's come from the Mersey area, which is tidal, and he's come up the bank here and he's got lost. It's very unusual," rescue worker Rachael Fraser told The Guardian.