News Update News Update Cornish Seal Sanctuary
Issue 222
October 2023


A grey seal pup rescued from the Cornish coastline has been named "Judi Dench" - and even managed to meet her namesake on the very same day.

Dame Judi Dench, one of the country´s most beloved cinematic jewels, was visiting the area on Friday 22nd of September 2023, with her family when she stopped by the Cornish Seal Sanctuary.   Click here to read the press release.
Pup Update - 16th October 2023 : Dawn French has been living her best life down in the outside nursery pools, she has been busy learning to interact with fish and playing with ice blocks.   Dawn is maintaining a good weight and is close to release. As long as Dawn keeps mastering her fish-eating skills, once she has had her final course of wormer the team can prepare for her release.
Dawn French
Pup Update - 23rd October 2023 : Tom Felton was rescued by members of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue marine volunteer medics and brought to the hospital after being separated from his mum on 2nd October 2023 at Porthmeor beach, he was malnourished and very underweight.   Also he was suffering from a few small wounds.

Tom´s wounds have now healed and has put on 3kg since being with the specialist care team.   After spending some quiet time in isolation, Tom has now moved into the main part of hospital where he is making quite a splash.   On Friday (19th October), he had his first swim and it´s safe to say he is hooked. Tom has even begun chewing on fish himself in the water which is all part of his fish lessons.
Tom Felton
These photos of the rescued seal pups, Dame Judi Dench, Dawn Fench, Dwayne Johnson, Owen Wilson, Rebel Wilson, Sienna Miller and Tom Felton were taken on the 27th of October 2023.   Click here or on the image of your choice below to see a larger version. Enjoy!
Dame Judi Dench Dawn Fench Dwayne Johnson Owen Wilson Rebel Wilson Sienna Miller Tom Felton

A HUGE thank you to the Sanctuary´s first Pup Pen Sponsor - The Ferris Family!

Rob attended the VIP Garden Party in September and wanted to support the Sanctuary as Rob, his wife Gemma and their daughters (Lowenna, Elsie and Flo) love to visit the seals!

Rob said "The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is not only an enjoyable family day out, but is, in our eyes, critical to ensure these wonderful mammals receive the help they need.   We can´t wait to see this year´s patients released back into the wild fit and healthy after their stay in our sponsored pen."

To sponsor one of the seal pup pens in the hospital - please click on this link!
Pup Pen Sponsor - The Ferris Family!

Grey Seals Strap
Happy Birthday to our beautiful Willow!

This month the team celebrated by throwing her a party with some Fishtastic enrichment.   Happpppyyyyyy Biirrrtthhhhdaaayyy Willow!
Happy Birthday Willow
Happy 22nd Birthday to our one and only Ray!

Ray has been part of the Sanctuary since he was just a pup and his story is a heart-warming tale of resilience and love.   From a tiny pup washed ashore after a storm, to his forever home at the Sanctuary.

Ray loves to spend hot days
playing with the sprinkler, often chasing the water jets and trying to catch the water in his mouth. He is also very good at leaning a flipper over the edge of the pool and splashing himself when sunbathing (talk about a hard life).   Ray´s weakness is that he can never resist a scratch from the broom when the animal care team come to clean his pool.

Ray´s wonderful personality shines brighter than the sun, and today, we
celebrate 22 years of his joyful presence.
Happy Birthday Ray
Happy Birthday to our lovely Atlanta!

She celebrated her 22nd birthday on 13th October with this fantastic, colourful fish cake!

Atlanta aka Attie was
rescued in 2001 from Oban in Scotland. She was very small and her eyes had been damaged due to gull attacks, resulting in vision loss.   Atlanta´s injuries meant the team had to give her a lot of hands-on care and as a result, she became extremely responsive.

Atlanta is a big fan of her alone time and lets everyone know when to leave her alone by slapping her belly!   She does, however, loves her poolmate Sheba and holds on to her back with her flipper before each feed, not breaking contact until the team go in with the fish - sometimes she even starts excitedly tapping Sheba on the back in anticipation.
Happy  22nd Birthday Atlanta
Happy 6th Birthday to our gorgeous Banana!

Banana was rescued on 24th August 2018 from Trevellas Cove, Cornwall. She was around eight months old at the time and was malnourished with bite wounds to her flippers and parasitic pneumonia. She was released after getting better, however, she was re-rescued at a later date due to difficulties and has since become a permanent resident at the Sanctuary.

Banana has such a
bubbly and infectious personality and loves to sing to the animal care team when passing by or entering the pool.

She is also definitely the most focused seal when being trained and will not take her eyes off of you for anything!   She has recently
started to test each fish for her tablets by chewing all the way along them before eating them - once she is satisfied she has found them she then eats the rest whole.
Happy  6th Birthday Banana
Happy Halloween and a very happy birthday to our beloved Pumpkin!

The Animal Care Team marked the special occasion with a spooktacular pumpkin cake to celebrate his 13th birthday??

Pumpkin is a
lively character who adores toys, especially during training sessions.   Instead of following orders, he´d rather bring you a pool full of toys, proving that swimming and playing are way more fun than those tedious health checks.

it´s snack time, Pumpkin isn´t shy about expressing his impatience with huffs and puffs, but it´s all worth it to see those fish appear a little quicker. Anything that isn´t toy-related can be met with a sceptical reaction - it´s all about the fun for Pumpkin!
Happy  13th Birthday Pumpkin

Photo Gallery
We hope you enjoy the selection of photos taken in October 2023, click here or on the photo of your choice below to see a larger version.
Sheba Aayla wants to take your photo!
Cornish Seal Sanctuary Jinx
Banana is happy but donĀ“t think Buddy is Buddy, Bo, Jarvis and Banana
Banana Sheba and Attie
Evee Dennis
Sheep Sheep
Cornish Seal Sanctuary Very Spooky!
Cornish Seal Sanctuary Aayla
Marlin Logs
Yoni - Humboldt Penguin Ivy - Humboldt Penguin
Gilbert - Humboldt Penguin Lola - Humboldt Penguin
Waddles - Humboldt Penguin Sienna - Rescued seal pup 2023-24
Can you see Norbert, the Beaver, sleeping in the corner of the water to the right of the photo! Can you see Norbert, the Beaver, sleeping in the corner of the water to the right of the photo

Dive into the depths of discovery with special guest Connie´s Creatures this October half-term!

Join the Cornish Seal Sanctuary for a ghoulish day with Connie´s Creatures as she unveils her spine-chilling bone collection, shedding light on the eerie anatomy of our beloved Cornish marine species with this interactive natural history exhibition????

Wednesday 25th October 2023 from 10am to 5pm

Bring your friends, family, and curiosity with these bizarre bones!
Connie's Creatures - 25th October 2023

The new Calendar for 2024 is now available to buy!

So exciting and as you can see, Jarvis is very proud!

A huge thank you to all who shared their photos with the Cornish Seal Sanctuary for this year´s competition - The team are thrilled with the results!

Click here to buy yours online. This would make a great Birthday and/or Christmas present!
CSS calendar 2024

Click here to view the latest Sanctuary´s map.

Click here to find out what to do if you find a Seal Pup or a Seal?

Six things to remember when spotting seals in the wild!

Post Release Monitoring of Seals
Each released seal pup is given a flipper tag with an unique ID number. This helps the Cornish Seal Sanctuary and the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) to track and monitor where pups end up and how they are doing once they are back in the wild.

This month the following seals were spotted in the wild by members of the CSGRT from around the coast of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly:-

Bagshot (see below) on 1st October 2023
Prudie on 1st, 5th and 9th October 2023
Snowdrop on 2nd October 2023
Orion on 2nd, 9th, 12th, 16th, 23rd, 26th and 31st October 2023
Jonesy on 3rd October 2023
Turtle on 6th, 27th and 30th October 2023
Shirley on 19th October 2023
Stephen Fry on 26th October 2023
Wonder Woman on 31st October 2023
The information regarding tagged seals seen in the wild is copyright of the CSGRT.

By monitoring the behaviour of seals after release back into the wild, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary and the CSGRT can use this information to define the best practice standards and policies that they can share with the international rescue community.

Each seal´s fur pattern is unique and enables the CSGRT volunteers track them for life. Seals face many challenges, yet we all depend on them to balance our marine ecosystem, which is essential to make the oxygen we breathe. Seals are our globally rare wildlife tourist attraction, helping diversify coastal economic prosperity.

Here is a rather lovely story of collaboration and success!

On 11th February 2010, a grey seal pup entangled in monofilament net was rescued at Perranporth, Cornwall, by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) volunteers and taken for rehabilitation at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary. After recovering, Bagshot was released back to the Cornish wild again three months later.

Over the years the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT), the Cornish Seal Sanctuary and the BDMLR have received multiple reports from seal survey colleagues on Skomer Island, south west Wales, who have repeatedly seen Bagshot there during the autumn - including once with a pup!   CSGRT have been able to identify her both from her rear flipper tag ID number used by rehabilitation centres, as well as from her entanglement scars and fur patterns that can be used with photo-identification. From this we have seen that her old scars sometimes open up again, but then heal over once more.

BDMLR were delighted to hear that she was seen again very recently on 1st October 2023!   At 14 years old now she is in the prime of her life and another demonstration of how successful rescue and rehabilitation is for these animals, as well as revealing a bit more about their lives.   Bagshot is only ever identified in Skomer during Autumn, so where is she does she spend the rest of the year..?

BDMLR know from research including the members of the CSGRT that individual seals make their own individual seasonal journeys around the coast from south west England to Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man and into the Bay of Biscay on a regular basis.   They never stay in one place all year round and are incredibly mobile with animals known to travel from Dorset to North Cornwall in just three days.   How fab would it be to find out when and where else in the world Bagshot goes?!

Photos Credits: Rehab at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary (2010), Lisa Morgan (2014) and Bee Buche (2023)
Bagshot in the Cornish Seal Sanctuary's Hospital in 2010 Photo Credit - Lisa Morgan - 2014 Photo Credit - Bee Buche 2023

This news update has been put together by volunteers/supporters of the Cornish Seal Sanctuary.

¦ News Update Menu ¦