|Sanctuary staff rocked by tragic death|
of Sahara the wandering seal
One of Cornwall's most famous and best-loved residents has passed away unexpectedly...leaving staff at the National Seal Sanctuary shocked and saddened.
The animal care team arrived to feed as usual on Thursday afternoon (8th April 2010) only to find that hooded seal Sahara had died.
Sahara made national press and television news in 2007 after being rescued for the second time in two years from the coast of the Mediterranean...more than 1,000 miles from his home on the Arctic ice pack.
|After his first rescue from Morocco the Sanctuary organised a mission to ferry him to the seas off the Orkney Islands, in the hope he would then continue north. Instead he turned round and swam all the way back to southern Spain.|
The Sanctuary had been his permanent home since then, and plans were being made to create an Arctic-style enclosure for his own exclusive enjoyment.
"We're all devastated by this," said animal care supervisor Tamara Cooper. "Sahara had never been especially healthy, having been treated for a variety of ailments.
"He was off his food and we were treating him with antibiotics, but he seemed generally okay and there were certainly no outward signs to warn of this tragedy.
"A preliminary post-mortem revealed a large abscess on the lung which must have developed gradually over a long period. Both times he was rescued his notes showed he had been suffering from a lung infection so we can only assume that this might be the underlying reason for the abscess.
"Sahara's amazing story inspired many people outside the sanctuary team and caught the imagination of people all over the world," she added.
"So much has been learned from Sahara and the adventures we have undertaken with him, but most of all, for myself and my team who adored him, it will be his lovely personality and individual ways that will be hugely missed."
Press Release issued by: The National Seal Sanctuary|
For more details please contact Laura Ward by
Date: 9th April 2010