Norfolk

'Holiday romance' seal pup surprise for Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary

Common seal Tyne and her new pup Image copyright Barry Williams
Image caption Common seal Tyne gave birth unexpectedly after staying in another sea life sanctuary

A seal pup conceived during a "holiday romance" has sparked a "who's the father?" mystery.

Common seal Tyne was staying in Scarborough last July while her usual home at Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary in Norfolk was being rebuilt following tidal surge flood damage in 2013.

No-one realised she was pregnant until she gave birth to a healthy pup last Friday, the Hunstanton sanctuary said.

Staff believe one of five Scarborough seals impregnated her during her stay.

"I was initially worried that she was seriously ill, but she was in labour, and a few minutes later the pup was born," said aquarist Natalie Emerson, who witnessed the birth.

Image copyright Barry Williams
Image caption The seal pup's gender is yet to be established

She said the only male seal at Hunstanton, Pendle, was not yet sexually mature and was therefore not responsible for impregnating Tyne.

"So the finger of suspicion is pointing at five possible culprits at Scarborough - Bruno, Mando, Bubbles, Ed and Herbie," Ms Emerson added.

The gender of the pup will be confirmed once the family has had "several weeks together with minimum disturbance from their human carers", she said.

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