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  1. ITV Report

Meet Tamar the noisy seal pup

The young fur seal should soon be able to meet his public. Credit: Paignton Zoo

A seal pup born at Paignton Zoo's Living Coasts a month ago has been named Tamar by a local businessman who won a charity auction.

The young South American fur seal is being allowed time to bond with his mother Grace, before going on show to the public.

His mum Grace surprised staff by going into labour in the middle of the day on Thursday 25 May. The zoo says there were some tense moments when it became clear that this was a breech birth and the pup was emerging tail first but he was born naturally.

Grace and her new male pup have remained off-show since then to allow them to bond in peace. 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.

Grace is being extremely attentive. It’s great to see them getting to know each other. He is a very vocal pup and he’s certainly strong and active. Then, every so often, he settles down to a suckle and a sleep.

We will probably let Grace move between off show and public areas as she chooses, so the pup may not always be visible but we hope people will get to see him in person very soon.

– Living Coasts Operations Manager and Curator Clare Rugg

The pup has been named by local business Tamar Telecommunications. Its Managing Director, Jamie Christoforou, made a successful bid for the right to name the pup at Paignton Zoo’s recent charity adoption auction. He has decided that the pup should be called Tamar after his firm - and the Devon river.

Along with mother Grace and father Karel, Living Coasts is home to two younger fur seals, 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.

As staff say, Tamar has very good lungs - as featured in this video clip filmed by the zoo.