Long-distance relationships don’t work. That’s the advice handed out to many human couples who become separated by distance, as their potential future partners disappear into the sunset and often don’t return. Yet in the animal world great efforts are being made to keep a pair of amorous seals in touch, despite the loving duo being taken to sanctuaries a mammoth 160 miles apart. Modern technology may yet save the marine mammals’ connection via the utilisation of iPads!

Conception defied tremendous odds against it

Mother Sija and father Babyface defied the massive odds against their successful conception of two pups, after sharing their lives together for a period at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek.

Ten-year-old Sija had been placed on a seal form of contraceptive pill after previously giving birth to a pup, but it still failed to prevent a second unexpected birth. All that despite Babyface having reached the grand old age of 37, making him one of the oldest seals to be kept in captivity and by normal seal standards was expected to be impotent as a result.

Amorous couple split up

The loved-up duo were split up earlier this summer to avoid any more pups being conceived. But to demonstrate that their keepers are not completely heartless, the spark between the two has been allowed to continue by using iPads. The utilisation of the latest technological gadgetry allows the pair to FaceTime each other by using the webcam, something which has been dubbed ‘SealTime’.

Nosing up to iPads to keep in touch

Mother Siji is now living at Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park. Her life is shared with four other common seals in an all-female enclosure. From there the displays curator, Fiona Smith set out how the continued hook-up with Babyface was made possible and how Siji's potential heartbreak was avoided.

Providing a heartwarming image of continued devotion through adversity, she said that despite initial uncertainty about using the iPads “once they saw each other they nosed up to it.” She added that all the staff at the sanctuary are “really pleased that SealTime is a success.”