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Baby seal found in garden

A seal pup found by a family in their back garden 18 miles inland has been nicknamed Rudolph.

Baby seal found in garden
Photo: PA

The animal was spotted by Harriet Dwyer, 24, sitting in the snow at the house in Benenden, Kent, on Monday.

Her father, Professor Tim Dwyer, said: ''It was bizarre, really.

"My daughter was out with our dog Jack in the snow when she came in and said 'There's a seal in the garden'. I said 'No, it must be an otter'. We all went out and under the hedge was a seal looking quite chirpy and slithering around in the snow.''

It is thought the pup, which is just under a year old, emerged from the tiny stream at the bottom of the garden after swimming up the River Rother which leads out to the English Channel.

Prof Dwyer, who works at London South Bank University, said: ''I went back indoors and rang the RSPCA and police. The seal made its way across the garden into the pond, where it sat happily staring out of the pond in an enchanting way with its eyes just above the water.''

The family tried to contain the seal with the aid of collie Jack before assistance arrived.

Prof Dwyer, 51, said: ''He was very good and, as collies do, he has a rounding instinct. The dog was quite happy to keep it in one place.

''My daughter, not very inventively, called it Rudolph, which seemed appropriate as it was sitting around in the snow.''

The pup was eventually coaxed into an animal crate and taken to the RSPCA's Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre in Fairlight, Hastings, East Sussex, where it has been renamed Gulliver after its fondness for travelling.

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from BBC news

Paralysed Belgian misdiagnosed as in coma for 23 years

Generic archive image of a agnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) brain scan
Scans such as MRI are used to show head injuries

A Belgian man who doctors thought was in a coma for 23 years was conscious all along, it has been revealed.

Medical staff believed Rom Houben had sunk irretrievably into a coma after he was injured in a car crash in 1983.
A doctor at Belgium's University of Liege who discovered that Mr Houben had been misdiagnosed said his case was not an isolated one.
"I was shouting, but no-one could hear me," Mr Houben, now 46, was quoted as saying by a German magazine.
According to Der Spiegel, Mr Houben, who can now communicate by using a special keyboard, has described how his body did not respond when he woke up after the accident.
Second birth
He has also said that he felt powerless as doctors and nurses tried to speak to him before giving up hope, and that he "dreamt the time away" as the years passed.
It was only in 2006 that a scan revealed that though Mr Houben was paralysed, his brain was in fact almost entirely functioning.
"I will never forget the day they discovered me," Mr Houben was quoted as saying. "It was like a second birth."
Mr Houben's story was revealed in a paper written by Steven Laureys, a doctor at Liege University who wrote a recent paper that detailed the case.
In it, Mr Laureys said that in about 40% of cases in which people are classified as being in a vegetative state, closer inspection reveals signs of consciousness.


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