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Last Updated: Friday, 9 June 2006, 20:21 GMT 21:21 UK
Coastal zoo celebrates seal birth
Newborn pup with its mother at Living Coasts
It could be up to six months before the pup is weaned
A Devon marine attraction is celebrating after the arrival of the first seal pup ever born there.

The youngster, a South American fur seal, was born on the rock in the pool of Seal Cove at Living Coasts in Torquay on 7 June.

The pup, whose sex will not be known for some time, is doing well and is suckling from its mother, called Bella.

Phil Knowling from Living Coasts said the birth came as "a bit of a surprise" as both parents are still very young.

'Both fine'

"The keepers knew that Bella was gaining weight and suspected she could be pregnant," said Mr Knowling.

"It's very early days, and there's always the risk of complications.

"We might find ourselves having to hand-rear, but natural parenthood is always preferable. So far mother and pup are both fine."

It will probably be some weeks before the new arrival takes to the water and it could be up to six months before the pup is weaned.

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