Rusty the seal gave birth at West Quay in Newhaven

Rusty giving birth

Rusty giving birth

First published in News
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A crowd of people were amazed to see the most famous seal in Sussex giving birth.

People flocked to the West Quay at Newhaven when news broke out on Facebook about Rusty the seal giving birth.

Emma Payne, a 38 year old education worker from Newhaven was first at the scene and originally mistook Rusty for a large piece of rubbish floating down the River Ouse.

She said: “It was a massive shock because we thought it was playing with a rock and I said that’s not a rock it’s a baby!

“It was massive for community spirit as well, when I wrote about it on Facebook about 40 or 50 people turned up, it was great for the community of Newhaven and it was the best thing I’ve ever seen."

A team from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) attended the scene on Friday night and saw both Rusty and her pup swim off at around midnight.

The BDMLR knew that Rusty was pregnant and had been watching her for a while.

However, there was a very unfortunate ending to the story.

Steve Marsh, operations manager at BDMLR, checked on Rusty the morning after and found her with the body of her dead pup.

The body of the pup has been taken away for autopsy, with staff from the BDMLR believing that the pup could have drowned.

Mr Marsh added: “We think the pup drowned but we’re not sure what caused it, it’s not a good place for a seal to give birth and stress could have been one of the problems but we’re not sure."

Rusty is a ginger common seal, or harbour seal, and has been spotted many times in the waters around Newhaven.

The majority of seals in Sussex live in a breeding colony at Chichester Harbour but Rusty seems content in her unusual habitat.

Mr Marsh doesn’t expect the incident to affect Rusty and that she should make a speedy recovery.

He said: “Rusty did give birth and I’m sure she will do again, it’s nature and they all bounce back quickly.”

Comments (7)

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4:49pm Sat 2 Aug 14

seanmacrookk says...

A number of us have been saying this would end in upset sooner or later and it has, people have been climbing up on the rooks to take pictures of the seals even last night with mum and baby.

People are feeding the Seals fish and there now coming up to people for an easy meal. I fear for there safety in Newhaven as there new and an attraction but people have no understanding of the stress caused by us shouting and getting close to them taking pics. Council need to act imo if they want to keep the seals here there are 4 2 adults 2 younger seals.

I hope they move on for there own good as i feat we are doing more harm than good right now sadly.
A number of us have been saying this would end in upset sooner or later and it has, people have been climbing up on the rooks to take pictures of the seals even last night with mum and baby. People are feeding the Seals fish and there now coming up to people for an easy meal. I fear for there safety in Newhaven as there new and an attraction but people have no understanding of the stress caused by us shouting and getting close to them taking pics. Council need to act imo if they want to keep the seals here there are 4 2 adults 2 younger seals. I hope they move on for there own good as i feat we are doing more harm than good right now sadly. seanmacrookk
  • Score: 10

5:19pm Sat 2 Aug 14

kelloggs frostie says...

I've just been told that the baby seal has passed away. So sad
I've just been told that the baby seal has passed away. So sad kelloggs frostie
  • Score: 0

5:30pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Puggie says...

I'm sorry I take offence to the comment saying people have been climbing on the rocks to get picture. I have been past regularly and have seen no one on the wrong side of the fence taking pictures. Have you not heard of Zoom lenses there is no need to get too close and if Rusty had a problem with people taking pictures she would have moved on to somewhere else instead.
With regards to people feeding her. I've only seen the fishermen feeding her whole fish from their catch and the trimmings when they are cleaning their catch and i'm sure that happens in Chichester too!
I'm sorry I take offence to the comment saying people have been climbing on the rocks to get picture. I have been past regularly and have seen no one on the wrong side of the fence taking pictures. Have you not heard of Zoom lenses there is no need to get too close and if Rusty had a problem with people taking pictures she would have moved on to somewhere else instead. With regards to people feeding her. I've only seen the fishermen feeding her whole fish from their catch and the trimmings when they are cleaning their catch and i'm sure that happens in Chichester too! Puggie
  • Score: 2

5:48pm Sat 2 Aug 14

seanmacrookk says...

Puggie wrote:
I'm sorry I take offence to the comment saying people have been climbing on the rocks to get picture. I have been past regularly and have seen no one on the wrong side of the fence taking pictures. Have you not heard of Zoom lenses there is no need to get too close and if Rusty had a problem with people taking pictures she would have moved on to somewhere else instead.
With regards to people feeding her. I've only seen the fishermen feeding her whole fish from their catch and the trimmings when they are cleaning their catch and i'm sure that happens in Chichester too!
Im sorry but a number of people where on the rocks last night getting close to the pup. so you couldnt have been around that much
[quote][p][bold]Puggie[/bold] wrote: I'm sorry I take offence to the comment saying people have been climbing on the rocks to get picture. I have been past regularly and have seen no one on the wrong side of the fence taking pictures. Have you not heard of Zoom lenses there is no need to get too close and if Rusty had a problem with people taking pictures she would have moved on to somewhere else instead. With regards to people feeding her. I've only seen the fishermen feeding her whole fish from their catch and the trimmings when they are cleaning their catch and i'm sure that happens in Chichester too![/p][/quote]Im sorry but a number of people where on the rocks last night getting close to the pup. so you couldnt have been around that much seanmacrookk
  • Score: 1

6:23pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Puggie says...

Sorry Sean you were insinuating that people had been climbing on the rocks before last night

"seanmacrookk says...

A number of us have been saying this would end in upset sooner or later and it has, people have been climbing up on the rooks to take pictures of the seals even last night with mum and baby."

Before last night as I stated above I hadn't seen anyone the wrong side of the fence and the only people that would need to do that are people taking pictures with their smart phones or cheap cameras
Ive posted pictures on face book from several days of taking pictures of the seals as have several other people and from the quality of the pictures you can see that they are not from cheap cameras. We are not all Idiots
Sorry Sean you were insinuating that people had been climbing on the rocks before last night "seanmacrookk says... A number of us have been saying this would end in upset sooner or later and it has, people have been climbing up on the rooks to take pictures of the seals even last night with mum and baby." Before last night as I stated above I hadn't seen anyone the wrong side of the fence and the only people that would need to do that are people taking pictures with their smart phones or cheap cameras Ive posted pictures on face book from several days of taking pictures of the seals as have several other people and from the quality of the pictures you can see that they are not from cheap cameras. We are not all Idiots Puggie
  • Score: 1

8:11am Sun 3 Aug 14

Nikski says...

There was a similar situation down in Kent with a dolphin (Dave, although actually female) that had been around just offshore for quite a while. Despite being asked to keep away, people were going close to it in boats, jet-skis and some even tried to get on its back! Eventually it disappeared; no one knew what happened to it, but it probably got fed up with all that close attention. Sadly though it did get injured by boat propellers. Of course it's natural to want to see wild creatures when they are
There was a similar situation down in Kent with a dolphin (Dave, although actually female) that had been around just offshore for quite a while. Despite being asked to keep away, people were going close to it in boats, jet-skis and some even tried to get on its back! Eventually it disappeared; no one knew what happened to it, but it probably got fed up with all that close attention. Sadly though it did get injured by boat propellers. Of course it's natural to want to see wild creatures when they are Nikski
  • Score: 3

8:14am Sun 3 Aug 14

Nikski says...

(Continued)....near but there are always a number of idiots who go too far and can't respect their space! Back off people and just enjoy looking!
(Continued)....near but there are always a number of idiots who go too far and can't respect their space! Back off people and just enjoy looking! Nikski
  • Score: 4

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