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Last Updated: Monday, 28 April, 2003, 19:10 GMT 20:10 UK
Safe haven for Andre the seal
Andre the seal swimming
Andre was spotted back in Loch Lomond
The latest efforts to ensnare Andre the seal have been abandoned after he evaded capture by swimming into Loch Lomond.

Experts admitted it would be impossible to catch the grey seal in the loch.

Andre, as he has been nicknamed, first attracted public attention when anglers threatened to shoot him for plundering their fish stocks.

He became stranded in the River Leven as he tried to make his way back to the sea from Loch Lomond.

The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) tried to rescue him from the river's shallow water and return him to the sea.

It's not as much of a worry as he is in deeper water now and he's away from people
Doreen Graham
SSPCA spokeswoman
However, he evaded capture during the two-week operation and has now been spotted back in Loch Lomond.

SSPCA spokeswoman Doreen Graham said: "With the heavy rain over the weekend, water levels have risen and Andre has been able to clear the weir and get into Loch Lomond.

"There would have been another attempt to catch him tonight using a special trap but obviously it would be impossible to try and do that in Loch Lomond.

"It's not as much of a worry as he is in deeper water now and he's away from people.

"So we will see what happens and try and catch him again if he returns to the river."

Last week the anglers relented under pressure from animal welfare supporters and the seal was given a permit to legally fish the waters near Loch Lomond.

The permit, which featured a passport-sized photograph of Andre, runs until 31 October.

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22 Apr 03  |  Scotland
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21 Apr 03  |  Scotland
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20 Apr 03  |  Scotland
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27 Feb 03  |  England

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