Sun, Seals and Ice Cubes

Residents at the National Seal Sanctuary, at Gweek are being kept cool this summer, with lots of icy treats.

As Britain bakes the Animal Care Team, have had to find new ways to keep the residents and 8 rescued pups, cool.

One of the treats loved by most of the residents is a fish-filled ice cube.

"We are always trying to think of new ways to keep all our residents comfortable when the temperature soars. The most popular so far is putting squid, conger eel and mackerel in a bucket, filling it with water and freezing it," said Tamara Cooper, Senior Animal Care Assistant.

"Then we simply drop it in the pool. Most of the seals will play with it for a bit, realise they have to wait for it to defrost a little, and come back to it later."

One resident who does not approve, however, is Patagonian sea lion Carus, who felt he ought to be able to swallow the clearly visible frozen conger eel spite of the big block of ice surrounding it.

"We would normally give Carus his conger eel with just a frozen head," said Tamara. "He can swallow that quite easily, and seemed genuinely miffed that he couldn´t do the same with a wholly frozen conger."

"Eventually he realised that patience was required, and simply guarded his lunch until it thawed."

For more information, please contact Tamara Cooper or Rachael Vine on 01326 221361

Press Release date: 7th July 2006