Slipper chosen as name of Seal

Competition judge Torin Douglas plumps for androgynous name

Slipper the Seal enjoys life on the beach

Picture courtesy of

Our competition to name the seal drew a huge response with a wide range of ideas for what to call the new Thames resident.

Popular suggestions included Oliver (after Oliver's Island), Cecilia and Camilla. Whether the latter was chosen as a reference to a certain royal consort or as a feminine version of Camille which was the forename of Pissarro is not clear.

Either way competition judge Torin Douglas, the BBC's media correspondent, chose the name Slipper. He explained his choice by saying, " I'm not sure how they know it's female so I've gone for something gender-neutral and alliterative".

Although the seal is often assumed to be female, and there have been some unconfirmed reports of sightings with cubs, there has been no authoritative gender identification by an expert.

The lucky winner of a meal for two at Pissarro's restaurant is Jo Moran of Stamford Brook. Pissarro's is one of London's top riverside restaurants and a favourite with seal watchers.

With the evenings drawing in it might be better to take the prize at lunch time to spot Slipper after the meal.

October 15, 2003

Seal of Approval for the Thames