Sad Passing of the Sanctuary´s much loved Ponies!

We are deeply saddened to announce that this weekend we said goodbye to two of our longest-serving residents at the Sanctuary, ponies Tuppence and Bracken.
Bracken and TuppenceBracken and Tuppence
Bracken and Tuppence arrived at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary with their own rescue stories in the early 1990s and have called the Sanctuary paddocks their home for almost 30 years.
Tamara Cooper, the Sanctuary´s Curator said "Bracken was so laid-back Shetland with a sweet nature and a cheeky playful personality. He loved his walks around the Sanctuary, often getting so excited he´d trot on the spot and buck in exuberance as he went down the hill! He loved a good scratch, but being a bit vertically challenged, the right scratching post could be hard to find...that is until the team came along with the wheelbarrow. Turns out a wheelbarrow is the perfect height for a good tummy scratch. Unfortunately, the team didn´t always agree as they watched from a far as Bracken would send the barrow and its contents flying back across the paddock! A typical Shetland, he adored his food and would let out a wonderful deep rumble of excitement when he saw the team arriving to make his breakfast."
"Tuppence, on the other hand, could be sassy and determined, and a bit bossy with Bracken, but when she thought no one was watching she was incredibly tender and hated to be parted from him. Over the years Tuppence had been diagnosed and treated for respiratory disease COPD and various allergies, as well as arthritis in the last couple of years. These conditions required regular medicated baths and ointments and a fly rug, and daily treatment with an inhaler and anti-inflammatories, all of which kept Tuppence more comfortable."
"Sadly, this last year both our furry friends were showing signs that, at 33 years old, age was catching them up. This winter we noticed that for the first time Bracken had lost a significant amount of weight, despite his three enormous bulky feeds a day. We sought veterinary and husbandry advice and managed to get some weight back on him but between the few teeth he had left, and his aging body, he was clearly struggling to process the food and it was obvious he was tiring. But the real surprise came around 10 days ago when Tuppence suddenly become painfully lame.

The vet was called and aggressive medication was started. X-rays showed it was likely she had had an arthritic flare-up. Despite daily injections and regular veterinary check-ups, and a lot of fingers crossed, Tuppence did not significantly improve and when she started to refuse food and became very resistant to accept the ongoing treatment we knew we had come to the end of what was reasonable to ask of this proud and stoic old girl."
"Over the almost 30 years that Tuppence and Bracken lived together they developed a wonderful relationship – seemingly being each other´s support and solace. Which is why when both ponies were showing signs of ill health and age-related complaints earlier in the year the Sanctuary contacted experts in equine welfare so that we could make the right decision for the welfare of both ponies when the time was right. Heart breakingly, this came sooner than any of us expected. Taking into account their age, the increasing health concerns for both ponies and the emotional welfare of the one left behind, the painful decision was made to allow these two long-term and devoted partners the dignity to quietly pass together."
Enjoying some oatsTuppence and Bracken
"Tuppence and Bracken have warmed the hearts of many of our guests, and of course, the staff and volunteers that had helped care for them over they many years they had called the Sanctuary their home. It is almost impossible to imagine looking up the hill and not seeing these two furry friends happily grazing together in the sun, and that is how they will be remembered. Tuppence and Bracken, you will be hugely missed and the Sanctuary will not be the same without you."

Press Release issued by the Cornish Seal Sanctuary
For more details, please contact Jana Sirova and Tamara Cooper on 01326 221361
Issue Date: 11th April 2022