Animals

By Kim Reader


An engineer has captured this beautiful snap of two seals ‘kissing’ in a tender bonding moment between a mum and her pup.

The touching photo shows a female seal and her baby pressing their noses together as if to display a mother’s love for her newborn.

PIC BY STEPHEN KING/MERCURY PRESS

Stephen King, 50, was out taking pictures of the thousands of seals that flock to Donna Nook in Grimsby, Lincs, last week when he spotted the heartwarming moment between the mother and baby.

The amateur photographer said the affectionate act doesn’t just look like a kiss but holds the same significance as it is the adorable duo’s way of bonding so the pup always knows who its mum is.

Stephen, of Scunthorpe, Lincs, said: “I was out taking photos of all the seals at Donna Nook. It’s a bombing base so there’s always military aircraft flying over but the seals aren’t bothered at all.

“I was just getting all the usual photos when I saw this mum and her pup sharing a tender moment. They look like they’re kissing.

“It’s a really loving moment between the mother and baby as they pressed their noses together.

PIC BY STEPHEN KING/MERCURY PRESS

“After the pups are born their mothers do this with them. They sit nose to nose to bond so the pup always knows which mum is theirs.

“So though it’s not actually a kiss it does serve the same purpose. It’s a mother showing her love for her baby – something we can all relate too.

“All the photographers that flood to Donna Nook to see the seals at this time of, this is the photo they are looking for so it was brilliant to know I’d got it.

“It has also had a really great reaction from everyone who’s seen it. It’s nice being able to share such a sweet moment with people.”

The loving moment between mum and pup was captured by Stephen using a Sony A99 MKII camera and a 70-400mm lens.

Stephen first got into photography 30 years ago but picked it up again around five years ago.

With a love of wildlife and the great outdoors, the ‘addicitve’ hobby gives Stephen another reason to spend time immersed in nature.

PIC BY STEPHEN KING/MERCURY PRESS

The dad-of-one’s daughter Chevaun, 16, has recently started studying photography at college and while it is nice for Stephen to see her following in his footsteps, he doubts he was the inspiration.

Stephen said: “I started out with film cameras 30 years ago and then I became a dad and there were more important things to spend money on so I gave it up.

“But I got back into photography again about five years ago. I love wildlife and this gives me another reason to get out and about and see the animals.

“And I enjoy the technical aspect of photography too. Every photo you take, you start to think about how it could be better and striving for improvement becomes quite addictive.

“My daughter has taken up photography too. It’s nice to see her taking an interest in something I know a bit about.

“I don’t think I was her inspiration. I think it’s more that she just wanted to go to college because that’s where the parties are but it’s nice to see her following in my footsteps anyway.”