Seal Mum Shares Pup with Poolmate Who Lost Her Own

A female common seal has touched the hearts of keepers and visitors alike at the Cornish Seal sharing her new born pup with a pool-mate whose own pup was stillborn.

Ten-year-old Sija gave birth to a healthy youngster just days after older female Luna´s pup was tragically stillborn.

To the amazement of staff Sija not only welcomed Luna´s affectionate attentions towards the pup, she even allowed her to share suckling duties.
New Pup with mum and Aunty Luna
Title "Both births were unexpected, as the father Babyface is the world´s oldest captive common seal at 37-years-old, and we assumed his breeding days were behind him," said animal care supervisor Tamara Cooper.

Babyface has now been moved to a neighbouring pool to give Sija and Luna more space to tend their infant.

"It´s amazing to see how devoted they both are, and the pup is really flourishing with so much motherly love," said Tamara.
As our pictures shows, neither female strays far from the pup, thought to be a male, occasionally nuzzling both his cheeks simultaneously and taking turns to let him ride their backs.

Luna (photo below) is completely blind and was originally rescued and given a home by the Sea Life Centre in Blankenberge, Belgium in 1994, having stranded on the local shoreline several times.
Luna, Sija and pup
Luna Sija was born at the same facility in 2004 and had to be hand-reared after her mother died shortly afterwards.

Both females moved to a permanent new home at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in 2007, where they were joined by one-eyed Babyface three years later, from Colchester Zoo.
Press Release issued by the Cornish Seal Sanctuary
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Issue Date: 1st August 2014