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Sanctuary's oldest fur seal dies
11:00am Friday 27th September 2013 in News
One of the Cornish Seal Sanctuary’s oldest and most popular seals has had to be put down through illness.
Andy the 24-year-old fur seal had received surgery for a prolapse and although the procedure went well, he unfortunately took a turn for the worse.
After examining Andy, the Gweek sanctuary’s consultant vets felt the kindest course of action was to allow him to be quietly put to sleep.
Announcing the news on its Facebook group “with great sadness”, the sanctuary said: “Andy was a spirited fur seal who equally challenged and inspired the team. He epitomised what the sanctuary is all about – a second chance. He will be dearly missed by all who had the pleasure of working with him and all that admired him from afar.”
Despite being known for his grumpy exterior, the animal care team saw beyond this and adored him.
After being offered a second chance at the sanctuary Andy took his responsibilities as the boss of his pool very seriously, always keeping his son Chaff on the straight and narrow. It did not matter how many fishy ice treats the team would put in their pool, Chaff was never allowed to have one.
However, the team soon began to see Andy’s softer side when he appeared to start to enjoy interacting with them during his daily training sessions.
It soon became clear that you could teach an old dog a new trick when, after two years of trying, the team finally got Andy to lie down on command.
His death led to 45 tributes from upset visitors, including Sarah Eden who described Andy as one of her favourites, while Lynda Norman wrote that she had “very fond memories” of the seal.”
The response prompted the sanctuary to add: “We are hugely touched by the responses we've received and it just goes to show how loved Andy really was.”
Animal care supervisor Tamara Cooper told the Packet that staff had now put out a “dating agency type” advert for a mate or friend for 14-year-old Chaff. “In the meantime we’re just trying to keep him as busy as possible, with lots of extra treats and training,” added Tamara.
“Obviously we’re devastated we lost Andy, but it’s a new start for Chaff.”
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