Donna Nook Nature Reserve's record year for seal pup births

Seal pup with its mother Image copyright PA
Image caption A grey seal pup stays with its mother for up to three weeks before it is abandoned

The number of seals born at a nature reserve has topped last year's figure.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, which manages Donna Nook Nature Reserve, said a record-breaking 2,024 pups were born so far this year, up by 65 births from 1,959 in 2016.

Last month a rare black seal pup caused a stir on social media.

In 2011 and 2013, dozens of youngsters died when tidal surges hit the coast but the colony has otherwise enjoyed growth every year.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Born with white fur, a grey seal pup can dive up to 120m
Image copyright Pritti Mistry
Image caption More than 950 seals have already "left the beach this week", the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust says

The first pup of this year was reported to have been born on 13 October.

On its Facebook page, the trust posted: "Total number of pups born this year is 2024. 968 seals have left the beach this week!"

Image copyright PA
Image caption Donna Nook Nature Reserve spans 10km (6.21 miles) along the Lincolnshire coast
Image copyright Emily Cunningham
Image caption A black seal pup born last month has been causing a stir on social media

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