The Cornish Seal Sanctuary has paid tribute to its ‘ray of sunshine’ following his death.

Last month, a popular resident seal, ‘Ray’ underwent several medical procedures for a historical condition and made slow improvements.

However, he did not recover as well as the Seal Sanctuary team hoped, and despite efforts from team members and veterinary support, Ray passed away on March 17.

Ray’s Seal Sanctuary life began back in 2001 when he arrived at the centre in Gweek at a few weeks old and made a big impression from the get-go.

“Ray was rescued by the sanctuary back in 2001 at just a few weeks old,” added a Seal Sanctuary spokesperson.

“He was such a character from the moment he entered our hospital. Looking back through his hospital records, there are comments like ‘there’s something different about Ray’ and there certainly was!”

Falmouth Packet: Ray came to the sanctuary in 2001 when he was just a few weeks old and immediately made a big impactRay came to the sanctuary in 2001 when he was just a few weeks old and immediately made a big impact (Image: Cornish Seal Sanctuary)

Due to always appearing to have a little smile on his face, Ray was often referred to as a little ‘goofy’ by members of the team.

But ultimately, it was his pure, happy, and trusting heart that shone through to everyone at the sanctuary.

“He was totally and utterly our Ray of Sunshine, and for us, the sanctuary certainly won't be the same without him,” said the spokesperson.

Once the news about Ray’s death was shared on Facebook, more than 700 comments were shared, with people expressing their sadness for his death.

One comment said: “So sad- we always made a point of watching Ray when we visited!

"Loved watching him just turning around with just his head out of the water.

"Thanks to all the staff at the sanctuary for giving him so many extra years.”

While another comment left on the post mentioned Diego the Sea Lion who passed away at the sanctuary in December 2023. It said: "Oh bless Ray. Swim forever with Diego.

"He was so full of life in December when we met him. Memorable soul.”

Ray’s life was honoured with a ‘Celebration of Ray’ display in the underwater viewing area at the sanctuary, where members of the public, and team members were able to say goodbye and celebrate his life.