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Much-loved Cornish seal spotted 'on holiday' in Devon

Much-loved Cornish seal spotted 'on holiday' in Devon

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 9:39am 21st March 2020.

A well-known Cornish gray seal has been located in the waters off South Devon for the first time according to researchers at The Seal Project. 

Lucille was first photographed in 2009 in Looe - hence the same (Looe-seal). 

Members of the project say Lucille is routinely identified around Looe Island between April and September, when she leaves her pups which they presume is somewhere in Lundy or Wales, judging by her sightings on the north Cornish coast. 

Lucille
Lucille movement map

Sarah Greenslade from The Seal Project was the one who took the photo in Brixham. 

“Lucille’s visit inspires us to continue to monitor and identify our visiting seals and enables us to continue learning.  Moments like this make it all worthwhile”.

Sarah Greenslade

The project said it was wonderful to see her for the first time in Brixham as her visit adds to the growing body of evidence about the transient nature of grey seals who are moving through our waters.

This is the first confirmed sighting outside of Cornwall for Lucille, who has swum around at least 200 miles of the southwest coastline.

Lucille
Lucille in Looe back in 2009

"We were really excited to learn that one of 'our' regular seals has been spotted in South Devon.  Lucille was one of the first seals that I learnt to identify from her beautiful fur markings.

"She was first spotted off the island back in 2009. Lucille is extremely popular with both locals and tourists as she is a very confident and inquisitive seal. Our sightings of her usually start in April.

"So, after foray to the east we are looking forward to seeing here back round Looe Island Nature Reserve soon!"

Claire Lewis Warden’s Assistant at Looe Island, a Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Nature Reserve

Sue Sayer from the Seal Research Trust says she's hugely grateful to Sarah, Duncan Kenny and all the Seal Project volunteers for their continued seal monitoring work 

Lucille
Lucille in Brixham

“Their contribution to the bigger picture of seal movements around the Celtic Sea is critical to informing the effective management of this highly mobile, IUCN Red Listed globally rare, UK special responsibility species.

"Lucille is firm favourite with the 150+ Looe Marine Conservation Group volunteers who conduct almost daily surveys, as well as being much loved by the glass bottom tripper boat skippers in Looe for whom she creates a healthy business income”.

Sue Sayer

To learn more about Cornwall’s seals visit the Cornwall Seal Group's website here or @CornwallSealGroupResearchTrust on facebook, Instagram or Twitter

To support our work, visit their online shop here. You can also join its supporter scheme for real seals, real stories in real time on the Seal Research Trust website here.

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