Aquarium gives a seal of approval

Caitlin Shields with California Sea Lions Finn and Lucy at Tynemouth's Blue Reef Aquarium.

Caitlin Shields with California Sea Lions Finn and Lucy at Tynemouth's Blue Reef Aquarium.

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A series of events are taking place at Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium to mark International Day of the Seal on March 1.

Running today and tomorrow, the new event will highlight the conservation work being done to help native UK seals as well as provide visitors with an insight in to seals, sea lions and other members of the pinniped family worldwide.

The aquarium’s outdoor Seal Cove is home to a colony of resident harbour seals along with Finn and Lucy, a pair of California sea lions.

Blue Reef also operates a purpose-built Marine Rescue Centre with the animal charity Pawz for Thought which provides emergency treatment for sick, abandoned or injured seal pups.

The facility has eight main areas. Three enclosures are dedicated for marine and general animal holding.

Two additional enclosures are of multi-function design and can be easily converted in to one large flotation pool.

There is also an area for veterinary inspection and two preparation areas for the dietary and medication requirements of all animals.

Blue Reef’s Caitlin Shields said: “The weekend will be a celebration of all things seal and sea lion-related.

“Our aim is to show visitors just how amazing these animals really are and how important it is to help conserve and protect them.

“We will be running special seal workshops, talks, feeds and demonstrations and visitors will also be able to find out what to do if they come across an apparently abandoned seal pup on the beach.

“There will also be interactive games, quizzes and colouring sheets for younger visitors to enjoy.”