News Update News Update Cornish Seal Sanctuary
Issue 187
21st April 2021


Tamara Cooper, the Sanctuary´s Curator said "It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our little bundle of fun, and dear friend Badger.

Badger was brought to the Sanctuary as a two week old seal pup rescued from the Isles of Scillies in 2014.

He was in a rather sorry state when he arrived and was treated for exhaustion, a urinary tract infection, as well as bouts of sickness and diarrhoea."
Badger - 5th November 2014
Badger - 10th December 2014 "Badger still had much of his fluffy "white" coat when he arrived, but instead of being the usual white colouration, his coat appeared to be an usual grey/brown colour, hence the team named him "Badger".

It was only once Badger started to moult this baby coat that his unusual jet black coat was revealed - Badger was hiding the fact that he was a very special and rare melanistic seal!"
"Badger´s rehabilitation was slow and problematic as the urine infection proved to be very persistent. On top of this, he was diagnosed with an under-active thyroid.

After six months of treatment Badger was still not 100% and it was at this point it was realised that he would not be able to be released and would likely require thyroid treatment for the rest of his life to remain healthy."
Badger - December 2014
Male grey seal enclosure "After several months, and a few health relapses, Badger appeared to finally recover from the infection and was well enough on his thyroid treatment to be introduced to the other resident Grey seals in the convalescent pool where he lived happily for 2 years.

At 3 years old Badger, however, was growing up and it was necessary to move him out to meet the big boys! It was then that him and Pumpkin joined Yulelogs and Marlin. But it was Pumpkin, our other young and energetic male Grey seal, that he would find a kindred spirit, and a partner in crime!"
"Pumpkin and Badger were firm friends from then on, and their bond was strong, if a little comical at times! Whilst Pumpkin could be described as the mischievous one, Badger "Mr Butter Wouldn´t Melt" was never far behind!!

They could often be found clambering over each other, wrestling on the haulout or at bedtime sleeping next to each other with one eye open knowing that the other is likely to have a nibble at the flippers!"
Pumpkin in the ring with Badger looking on!
Badger - September 2020 "Badger had a happy and comfortable life at the Sanctuary but there were worrying signs that his original urine infection could have had a more sinister cause. In 2018 after the team started to see blood in Badger´s urine again, ultrasound confirmed that he had kidney stones.

Sadly this condition is not treatable and can only be managed, and we were warned that this would certainly reduce his life expectancy."
"The team were devastated but determined to make Badger´s life as comfortable and as fun as possible. From there on, Badger´s training was stepped up to ensure that all his husbandry needs were met including body checks, eye drop training and salt dunks to keep his eyes as healthy as possible.

Badger loved his interactions with the team with whom he built a strong and trusting relationship. It was during these sessions that his personality really came out and we were often left giggling at his antics. So what can we tell you about Badger´s personality?"
Badger - 17th April 2021
Badger "Well, he was a real trier, and even had a "thinking face" where he´d stick his tongue out when he was concentrating really hard!

He sometimes needed a little reassurance from the team and was not opposed to a little hand-holding with his trainer when no one was watching!"
"He loved to play with any activity the team thought up for him but also enjoyed the simple pleasures in life like running water and would spend hours playing with the hose letting it trickle into his mouth.

And he had a weird "like" for carrying things in the pool, turns out almost anything can be carried; target sticks, toys and...even Pumpkin!"
Badger - December 2019 with Joe
Badger and Pumpkin "Sadly in the last few months Badger´s health had deteriorated showing signs that his kidney stones were causing other complications in his little body and making it harder to manage his condition and to keep him pain-free.

It was then that the very difficult decision was made to allow Badger the dignity to pass in peace."

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