As an orphan she might be expected to accept gratefully whatever food she is offered - especially when it's a staple of her species.
But Heidi, a five-week-old common seal, has developed a phobia of fish.
She has refused to eat her natural diet of raw herring since being found abandoned on a beach at Heacham, Norfolk.
No seal of approval: Heidi turns her nose up at the fish on offer
Heidi is being cared for at the Sea Life Sanctuary in nearby
Hunstanton and the only way staff can sneak the fish past her is by liquidising it to make herring smoothies so the picky pup can be fed with a tube.
Matthew Fuller, from the sanctuary, said: 'It's the first time we've come across a herring phobia. It is probably because it's quite stressful coming to the sanctuary and she has been pining for her mummy.'
But there are hopeful signs now that the orphaned seal has started to investigate herring with her flippers and might soon begin eating them.
Yum! Aquarist Kirsty Sopp pours Heidi a herring smoothie which she has to be drip fed because she won't eat whole herrings
Heidi was about three-weeks-old, weighing 13kg and in good condition when she was found by sanctuary staff on January 21.
It is believed that she might have lost her mother in bad weather before being washed up alone on the beach.
Once Heidi is at her target weight of 25kg she will be released back into the wild.
Mr Fuller added: 'Her weight is OK now but she will probably be with us in the hospital for another month.
'Then we will put her in the main pool to learn how to socialise with the other seals. She's quite healthy now and a lovely seal.'
Keiran Copeland, displays supervisor who is also helping to look after Heidi, said: 'We've never encountered a pup more difficult to get food into.
'Hopefully it's just a phase and she'll start taking her meals without a fuss soon.'
The sanctuary is currently looking after seven seal pups and three resident seals.
No herring dinner for me! Marine sanctuary baffled by the baby seal with a fish phobia | Mail Online