A HOODED seal that swam near the Costa del Sol to Malaga on Tuesday died in the care of rescuers Thursday night.

The pup – thought to be between two and four months old – was spotted in the Guadalmedina river in Malaga after being swept off course by a strong current.

The species is an extremely rare visitor to the Mediterranean, and is usually only found in the North Atlantic.

The Centre for the Recuperation of Endangered Marine Species (CREMA) rescued the animal on Tuesday night. Underweight and suffering from a gastrointestinal infection, the seal did not respond to medical treatment.

CREMA had made plans to release the pup back into its natural habitat after a two month recovery period and contacts had been made with Spanish and European institutions.

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