Woman gives birth at the National Seal Sanctuary
An appeal has gone out after a woman got more than she bargained for this week during a visit to the National Seal Sanctuary, Gweek, after giving birth during her visit.

The woman, who is believed to have been nine months pregnant, may have been considering using a birthing pool...but probably not one with a seal in it!

"We've had seals given birth at the Sanctuary before, but never people! It came as a complete shock!" said the Sanctuary's Laura Ward.
It's a girl!
After enjoying a leisurely stroll through the Sanctuary, it appears that the woman, her husband and their young child decided to catch the Sanctuary's safari train back to reception to go home...but this was not going to be the case as the woman started having contractions.

The bus driver of the day, Wayne Kempe, went out as usual to help the guests on the ride only to find one of them about to give birth!

"Everything happened so quickly. One minute the lady was worried that the contractions had started, and then next she had had the baby" Said Wayne. "We called an ambulance but the baby had already arrived before they got here and we're not sure which hospital they took her to" added Wayne.

An appeal is going now out to find the parents to double check everything is well with the new-born.

"We'd love to give the little girl free entry for life to the Sanctuary so she can visit the place where she was born as many times as she would like to!" added Laura.

The only details of the family the Sanctuary currently have is that they believe their last name to be Sedgwick and that they have a young son and now a new-born daughter!

The Sanctuary has been running for 52 years rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing seals from around the Cornish coast and has had the safari bus in action for many years due to the reception being a 10-minute walk from the pools.

"At the Sanctuary we have always been superstitious about the bus bringing on labour. It's more of a bumpy ride if you sit at the back of bus and it's brought on labour a few times in the past but none that have ever given birth!" said Laura. "I know a few women who have even gone backwards and forwards on the bus after they've gone past their due-date in the hope of jump-starting the process!" added Laura.

The new-comer arrives just after the Sanctuary welcomes its only new little babies, a colony of Humboldt penguins. The mother and four chicks arrived at the beginning of April as part of a breeding programme to look after these endangered species.

The family can get in touch by calling the Sanctuary on 01326 221361.
Press Release issued by: The National Seal Sanctuary
For more information please contact Laura Ward on 01326 221361
Date: 30th April 2010