A seal has been spotted enjoying a quiet swim in River Thames while the city is put on a halt during coronavirus lockdown.

In a mobile phone footage taken in Millwall, Isle of Dogs in east London, a joyful seal is seen taking a breather as it dips its head in and out of the water.

The sea mammal is taking its time to relax in the middle of empty River Thames.

The clip, which has been posted on a closed Facebook group, has drawn hundreds of likes since it was shared on Sunday.

One viewer said: "Thank you for sharing. So beautiful to see a clear river and a majestic animal in his own private pool."

The seal was seen swimming in River Thames near Millwall
The seal was seen swimming in River Thames near Millwall

A second one wrote: "Monkeys invading Thailand’s streets, goats in Wales, deers in Japan and now seals back in the Thames."

"Looks like we are returning to nature. Not all bad news," a third added.

This is not the first time seals are seen swimming in River Thames.

A resident living near Teddington has captured a seal relaxing among a tangle of tree trunks and branches by the river in Marble Hill in February.

Last September, a survey conducted by scientists at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) revealed that 138 seal pups have been born in London's river in a single season.

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"The seals would not be able to pup here at all without a reliable food source," said conservation biologist Thea Cox.

"This demonstrates that the Thames ecosystem is thriving and shows just how far we have come since the river was declared biologically dead in the 1950s."

"Harbour seal pups can swim within hours of birth which means they are well adapted to grow up in tidal estuaries, like the Thames," said Anna Cucknell, who leads ZSL's Thames conservation.

"Grey seals, on the other hand, take longer to be comfortable in the water, so breed elsewhere and come to the Thames later to feed.”