18 Aug 2022

WATCH: Seal spotted in County Kilkenny town

Please do not disturb or feed the animal

A seal has been spotted on the banks of the River Nore in Thomastown for a second successive year.

Local walker Mary O'Kelly snapped some pictures and video footage (above) of the seal on Monday afternoon.

There is a strong possibility that this is the same seal that visited Thomastown last year, returning to his/her favourite staycation spot!

A nature expert has advised locals who spot the seal to keep their distance to avoid stressing the animal.

Do not attempt to feed the seal as this could cause more harm than good.

Ensure dogs are kept on leashes if you walk close to the seal.

Not only can they cause physical harm but they can also pass on diseases as the two species are closely related.

If you see the seal in any distress or in need of rescue and wish to report it, you can contact Seal Rescue Ireland HERE.

Seal facts from Seal Rescue Ireland:

Seals, like all mammals, are warm-blooded. A smooth, thick layer of blubber lies underneath the skin to regulate the body temperature and keep them warm, even in icy ocean water. 

On land, they can often be seen flipping damp sand onto their backs in an attempt to keep cool. Also, dilation of the arterioles, particularly in the flippers, allows a rush of blood to the skin promoting cooling.

Seals are often referred to as the ‘acrobats of the sea’ due to their agility in the water. They are able to swim effectively over very long distances achieving speeds of up to 25 knots!

The eyes are large with a strengthened cornea adapted to the refractive index of water, and a retina adapted to dim light conditions, allowing good visibility underwater. 

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