A baby seal pup born at Sea Life Sanctuary is though to be the product of a ‘holiday romance’ on the English coast.
Staff at the Hunstanton attraction were taken by surprise when resident common seal Tyne gave birth to a healthy pup.
They had no idea she was expecting as she was on the Pill.
The birth was witnessed by aquarist Natalie Emerson, who had grown concerned about Tyne’s loss of appetite and listless behaviour and returned to the Sanctuary at 8pm to check on her.
The youngster must have been conceived last July while Tyne and other residents were “holidaying” in Scarborough … while the Sanctuary was rebuilt after being devastated by the tidal surge floods in December 2013.
“Tyne and our other girls Sally, Amber and Miley were all on contraceptives at the time, which is why we never suspected Tyne was pregnant,” said Natalie.
“She must have found some way of discarding the tablet, even though it was tucked inside a tasty fish.
“Our solitary male Pendle is only two and not sexually mature yet, so the finger of suspicion is pointing at five possible culprits at Scarborough…Bruno, Mando, Bubbles, Ed and Herbie.”
When Natalie made her unscheduled visit to check on Tyne she found her hauled out of the seal pool and breathing very heavily.
She said “I was initially worried that she was seriously ill, but she was in labour, and a few minutes later the pup was born.
“Our solitary male Pendle is only two and not sexually mature yet, so the finger of suspicion is pointing at five possible culprits at Scarborough…Bruno, Mando, Bubbles, Ed and Herbie.”Aquarist Natalie Emerson
“Now I just feel incredibly privileged to have witnessed such an amazing happy event”.
Natalie alerted other staff members who helped her raise the water level in the pool to make sure the new arrival, which took to the water within an hour of being born, could easily haul out again.
“Tyne is being a model mum, suckling her pup regularly, escorting it on swims around the pool and being very protective,” Natalie added.
“The other residents are curious, but Tyne won’t let them get too close.”
The pup’s gender won’t be confirmed until staff take a closer inspection, which will not happen until mum and pup have had several weeks together with minimum disturbance from their carers.