Heatwave health warnings issued for North East

The Met Office has advised on “alertness and readiness” for those in the North West and North East of England after five days of hot weather

 

Officials have sent out heatwave health warnings for the North East and three other regions as Britain continued to swelter during the hottest spell of weather for seven years.

After five consecutive days of 30C-plus temperatures, the Met Office issued a “level three heat health watch” for London and the South East and advised “alertness and readiness” for those in the North West and North East of England.

But the hot weather was still welcome for most people – and this baby seal pup was certainly making the most of it.

Benji, who was born on July 5, is the first seal pup ever to have been bred at Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium

Since his arrival he has been enjoying the heatwave, spending much of his time hauled out of the water and basking in the sunshine.

Baby seal pup Benji with mum Selina at Blue Reef Aquarium
Baby seal pup Benji with mum Selina at Blue Reef Aquarium
 

The harbour seal pup weighed around five kilogrammes when he was born, but has already started piling on weight, with the help of mum Selina.

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

Anna Pellegrino from Blue Reef 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 of course.”

Pups are born on land but are able to swim and dive within hours.

They remain dependent on their mother’s milk for up to four weeks and can expect to more than double their birth weight each week during that time. 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.

Temperatures are forecast to stay in the 20s throughout the rest of this week and over the weekend.

Newcastle will hit highs of 26 degrees celsius today, with Durham potentially reaching 28.

Selina is turning out to be an amazing mother and Benji is growing really fast

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