Separated Seal Couple Keeps Their Love Alive Via FaceTime
Two captive harbor seals who were forced apart are now relying on iPads in hopes of keeping their love alive.
Sija and Babyface had been living together at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in the UK, where they struck up a forbidden romance. Although Babyface, a male aged 37, was thought to be too old to reproduce, the pair alarmed their keepers by conceiving an offspring. After the birth, Sija was given contraceptive pills, but then she became pregnant again - leading the facility to take drastic action.
Earlier this year, Sija was torn away from Babyface and moved to the Weymouth Sea Life park 160 miles away, where she now lives with other females. Perhaps sensing that the lovesick seal was saddened to be without her longtime mate, her new handlers decided to give them a way to connect - via FaceTime video chat.
"This is the first time we've ever done anything like this, a seal-FaceTime," said Weymouth Sea Life display curator, Fiona Smith. "It's worked really well. Initially, the seals were a little bit cautious of the screen, but they got more and more curious, and started nosing at it and interacting, which is lovely to see."
It's unclear if Sija and Babyface will ever have the chance to reunite in person, which, sadly, stands in contradiction to their biology. Harbor seals are known to form monogamous relationships, though zoos and marine parks are under no obligation to preserve them - still, if even in a small way, it's nice to see them try.