Africa comes to the Seal Sanctuary

The National Seal Sanctuary proudly announces the arrival of two new African residents on 12 April a first for Cornwall!

The Sanctuary welcomes Mika and Chaff, two South African Cape Fur Seals at 12 noon with a kaleidoscope of colour. Our new permanent residents strengthen the Sanctuary´s position as the UK´s leading centre for seals and sea lions.

Helping to mark the occasion is the Cornwall Youth Dance Company. The CYDC will give the fur seals a flavour of home by performing Fi Dunia, a 7 dance minute piece choreographed by Bawren Tavaziva, a native of Zimbabwe.

"We are very thrilled to be able to provide a new home for Mika and Chaff at the Sanctuary, their presence will enable us educate a wider audience into the threats these beautiful creatures face in the wild. With the help of these new residents we will continue with our efforts in promoting the welfare of pinnipeds worldwide." said Michelle Drew Attraction Manager.

In their native South Africa Cape Fur Seals have been heavily hunted for their thick, luxurious fur since the early 17th century. Since 1900, more than 2.7 million South African fur seals have been killed, most of them in Namibia.

In addition to many thousands of animals killed by commercial hunting each year, unknown numbers of fur seals die or are injured as a result of pollution and commercial fishing operations through entanglement in discarded fishing nets, by-catch and injury. The availability of food due to environmental changes is another significant factor.

These documented threats are experienced by many seals and sea lions around the world - even our Cornish grey seals are no exception!

To raise awareness of the threats to pinnipeds worldwide and to celebrate the arrival of these important new residents, the Sanctuary is putting on a day of events all with a South African theme.

For more details, please contact Rachael Vine on 01326 221361

Grand Opening: 12th April 2006 at 12:30pm

Press Release date: 5th April 2006