Aquarium’s new star gets seal of approval

Benji the seal pup with mum Selina.
Benji the seal pup with mum Selina.

A baby seal pup born earlier this month is already enchanting visitors to Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium as he makes the most of the warm weather.

Benji is the first seal pup to have been bred at the wildlife attraction, and has been spending time basking in the sunshine.

The harbour seal pop weighed around five kilogrammes when he was born but is already starting to pile on the weight, with the help of mum Selina – who celebrated her 13th birthday this month.

Keepers kept a close eye on them for the first few days, however, both mother and baby are progressing extremely well, much to the delight of staff and visitors.

Blue Reef’s Anna Pellegrino said: “Selina is turning out to be an amazing mother and Benji is growing really fast and clearly enjoying the warm weather.

“He’s fascinated with exploring his new home and whenever he does get too hot he dives back in to the water always under the watchful eye of Selina and his dad Marvolo.”

Benji is the aquarium’s fifth harbour seal. All are captive bred, with females Loffe and Selina coming from Norway and the males Marvolo and Sofus coming from Denmark.