|Fur seals Chaff and Andy have been seen mimicking sharks, their natural predators, at the National Seal Sanctuary this week.|
The male fur seals have been mocking sharks by doing impressions with their flippers. "When walking past their pool, we have seen them swimming around under the water and pointing their flippers up in a manner that looks exactly like a shark fin!" said Tamara Cooper, head of animal care team at Sanctuary. "For a moment we thought we had two sharks instead of two seals!"
The father and son team arrived at the Sanctuary in 2006 when there was no more room for them at Coombe Martin Wildlife Park. Initially Chaff was placed in a pool with his partner Mika, who sadly passed away. Andy then moved into the same enclosure and despite worries of fights between the two males, they got along very well.
Since becoming residents, the two seals have always entertained visitors with their energetic playfulness in the pool, and have now got even cheekier by mocking their natural predators.
"It seems to us that Chaff and Andy don't like the idea of being lower in the food chain than sharks, and enjoy playing up to this by pretending that there is a shark in the pool!" added Tamara.
Although they are not sea lions, fur seals are more closely related to sea lions than true seals. This is due to them having outer ear lobes and that they can walk on all fours.
Seals have been known to be the prey of sharks, in particular, the great white shark.
"Its very entertaining to watch Chaff and Andy act like sharks, and you can see visitors double back as they check that it is in fact a seal not a shark in the pool!" said the Sanctuary's Laura Ward.
Chaff and Andy can be seen at the National Seal Sanctuary, Gweek, daily from 10am.
Issued by The National Seal Sanctuary|
For more information, please contact Laura Ward or Tamara Cooper on 01326 221361
Press Release date: 11th November 2008
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