He may look like butter wouldn’t melt but birthday boy Bubbles the seal would be a prime candidate for a slot on the Jeremy Kyle show!
Common seal Bubbles turns 19 this Sunday, making him the third oldest resident at Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary. Only fellow seal Bruno and Antiopi the loggerhead sea turtle are older.
Bubbles is partially blind, hence his life in captivity, but this has not stopped him wooing a succession of lady friends.
In fact he has sired no fewer than five pups in his time, from five different girls…and is also a strong suspect in the impregnation of a recent visiting female, resulting in the surprise arrival of another pup at the centre’s sister attraction in Hunstanton.
“Just like many of the disputes featured on Jeremy Kyle’s show, it’s going to take a DNA test to sort that one out,” said displays supervisor Lyndsey Crawford.
Bubbles was born at Colchester Zoo and later moved to Twycross Zoo before becoming one of the first residents of a brand new seal enclosure at Weymouth Sea Life Park in 2004.
He was the only male in a pool with three female companions, and fathered pups with all three. Two of those offspring Herbie and Ed’ moved with him to Scarborough in 2006.
The transfer was in part an attempt to curb Bubbles’ procreational prowess, but he confounded the best birth control tactics of his keepers to sure two more pups.
“We all love him nonetheless,” said Lyndsey, “and he’s certain to get an extra fish or two on his big day.”