A grey seal who lost his bearings and ended up in a garden more than a mile from the sea has been rescued.
The marine mammal is thought to have swam inland up a small river before taking a rest in some shrubbery.
The lost seal was spotted by a woman at her holiday home in Blakeney, Norfolk., on January 1, who called the RSPCA to help get him back to his rightful home.
RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) Naemi Kilbey said: “The seal had managed to make his way into the garden, just off a coastal road, through the fence.
“The homeowner spotted him late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve and, despite being well and truly lost, he luckily didn’t have any obvious injuries or illness.
“I managed to get to the seal on New Year’s Day and thankfully he was in very good condition and didn’t need any further treatment so we loaded him up in the van and took him straight down to the beach at Blakeney to release him.
“It was so lovely to start the new year watching him swim back out to sea where he belongs.
“Hopefully, he’ll find the new home he was looking for somewhere that’s a little more seal-friendly!”
RSPCA officers believe the seal had got into the garden by swimming along the River Glaven, just a few hundred metres from the garden where he was found.
“It’s not uncommon for seals to venture up rivers away from the sea looking for food and they normally manage to find their way back,” ACO Kilbey added.
“But it looks like this guy’s internal navigation system got a bit frazzled and he ended up a little lost! The lady certainly had a shock when she spotted him lazing around in her shrubbery!”
The RSPCA advises members of the public to keep a distance from any seals on land and not to interfere unless necessary.
Anyone who may see a seal who is sick, injured or stranded, should call the RSPCA’s emergency cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.