By Paul Stokes
A seal was seen coming to the aid of a drowning dog and pushing it to the safety of a river bank.
Chris Hinds, a court warrants officer, was out walking his own dogs when he saw the alsatian-cross injured and whimpering at the water’s edge. As he approached, it panicked and plunged into the River Tees only to be swept away by the fast-flowing tide on Tuesday evening. Mr Hinds, 43, sent his son Raymond, 18, to call the fire brigade and RSPCA from his mobile phone in his car parked nearby.
He stayed on the bank beneath Newport Bridge, Middlesbrough, to follow the path of the dog. As the dog yelped 30ft out and he shouted, a seal popped up and began to circle the stricken animal. Then to Mr Hind’s amazement it swam up behind the dog and used its nose to push it by the backside on to mudflats.
“I just couldn’t believe what was happening in front of my eyes, it was a truly amazing experience I will never forget,” said Mr Hinds, of Middlesbrough, who had been out walking his own two dogs. I thought the dog would die because there was nothing I could do to get to it. When the seal suddenly appeared from nowhere I wondered what it would do. It took a matter of seconds to save the dog. I don’t know why the seal did what it did. I can’t explain it.”
The rescued dog, thought to be aged between five and eight, had a gashed head and an injured rear leg. It had no collar and police are now trying to trace the owner. Sub-officer Mark Baxter of Stockton fire station said: “It is one of the strangest things I have ever heard. By the time we arrived the dog was on dry land and there were three common seals bobbing in the water keeping an eye on him.”
Laura Glover, of the RSPCA, said: “The dog owes its life to the seal.”
Common seals were instinctively protective animals and, unlike grey seals, rarely aggressive, said Dominic Waddell, an expert in seal behaviour and senior aquarist at Scarborough’s Sealife and Marine Sanctuary. He added: “The seal might have seen the dog as something unusual which should not have been in the water. They are highly inquisitive, it would circle the dog and then push it to the river bank sensing it should be on land.”
He compared the rescue to dolphins guarding shark attack victims to keep them from harm. “Whatever, it is an amazing story and shows how intelligent seals are.”
*The original article did not provide an image, as you can see at the bottom where we sourced the article. Stories are much more likely to be read if it came with a picture and that is why we inserted a photo for this amazing story. The photo is also sourced at the bottom. 🙂
Picture from: http://www.dailybrisk.com