Living Coasts’ seal pup Tamar is getting used to his home and his family. The pup, who is nearly two months old, can now swim on his own.

Operations Manager / Curator Clare Rugg said: “He learns from mum by copying everything she does. She taught him how to swim initially by keeping him in the shallows then gradually moving him out into the deeper water. Grace has been very attentive and very patient with him, allowing him to climb all over her and bite her playfully.”

The other seals in the group are father Karel (pronounced Carl) and young females Gemini (born in 2014) and Tunanta, who was born in 2006 and was the first seal pup to be born at Torquay’s coastal zoo. Tamar hasn’t met them directly yet, as he is still very small, but the intention is to mix him with them all, starting with Tunanta.

South American fur seal Grace gave birth at Living Coasts in the middle of the day on Thursday 25th May. There were some tense moments when it became clear that this was a breech birth and the pup was emerging tail first, but it was born naturally just as the zoo’s in-house vet team was preparing to intervene.

In 2014 Grace gave birth to Gemini, who had to be hand-reared by keepers when Grace was unable to produce enough milk for the pup.

The pup was named by local business Tamar Telecommunications. Managing Director Jamie Christoforou made a successful bid for the right to name the pup at Paignton Zoo’s charity adoption auction.

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