The seal was rescued by the RSPCA and the London Fire Brigade after being hit by a boat in Kew Gardens

Animal charity RSPCA and the London Fire Brigade came to the rescue of an injured seal thought to have been hit by a boat in the Thames.

Passers by noticed a seal on the pontoon near Kew Bridge. Suspecting the mammal was in trouble they called 999.

The Fire Brigade and the RSPCA promptly arrived at the scene in south west London to attend to the injured animal. It took them 90 minutes to rescue the seal. Onlookers cheered at the successful rescue mission.

It’s not uncommon for seals to swim up in the Thames, but it’s more unusual for them to end up on dry land in the capital.

“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 unless they are sick, when they will haul themselves out of the water.”, said a spokeswoman for the RSPCA.

“In this instance, however, we are concerned for the seal’s welfare as the animal appears to have an injury to the eye, perhaps consistent with being hit by a boat.”.