To get the punchline, US-based readers need to know that Waitrose is an upscale British supermarket. Hence a marine rescuer's quip that a seal that has become trapped in a fishing lake "probably has no incentive to leave as its found itself in a branch of Waitrose." Indeed, the seal, which turned up in the Rochford Reservoir in Essex nearly a month ago, has since managed to avoid capture. The man who has been stocking the lake for 11 years to ensure it is "one of the best park angling lakes for all types of anglers" is not enjoying the visitor, reports the BBC.
"To see all this lost due to a seal getting into a lake where it doesn't belong is ridiculous," Nick North of Marks Hall Fisheries said. "When I asked about the damage the seal was causing to my stock of fish, I was told that didn't come into consideration as the seals were a protected species and the fish weren't." North is right about that protected part. Essex Police on Friday tweeted, "The Rochford seal is protected by Law!if you see anyone trying to injure then please call @EssexPoliceUK."
North adds, per the Independent, "It's ruining my business. It could probably get out if it wanted to but it won’t go. It’s got [a] never-ending food supply." Marine rescuer Simon Dennis says the seal, which is believed to have originated in the North Sea, appears to have minor injuries. But "it's a delicate balance of rescuing the seal for its own welfare, but not stressing it out." ITV reports a third attempt at capturing the seal is planned. Dennis says the creature could drown if they tried to use a tranquilizer on it, so "the only option is to get a net around" it. "The problem with the net is he can very easily swim under it or over it." (Read more seal stories.)