Friendly Fulmar "Albert" steals the Show
at the SEA LIFE Sanctuary

A seabird called "Albert"; is fast becoming a star attraction at a Norfolk seal sanctuary.

The friendly fulmar - christened Albert because he´s a member of the albatross family - was left at the Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary by an anonymous visitor.

Now he´s set up home amongst the plumbing at the back of the seal pools, and emerges at feeding times to beg fish-tails from the animal care team.
Albert "He´s a bit of a mystery bird," said aquarist Holly Stephenson. "Fulmars are not generally so confiding, but Albert will even allow us to pick him up and dry his feathers for him after he´s taken a dip in the seal pool."

And Albert regularly takes a dip in a bid to steal the fish being fed to resident seals Sally, Amber and Tyne and seven recuperating rescued pups.

"The seals don´t seem to mind the competition much, and they´re usually a bit too quick for Albert, which is why we started hand-feeding him," said Holly.

Fulmars are cliff-nesting seabirds found right around the UK coast and generally keep their distance from humans.
"Bird-ringers and others who occasionally get up close to these birds know only too well that wild fulmars usually react by spitting a foul-smelling oily substance at them.

"Happily Albert has much better manners."

Initially Sanctuary staff planned to house him just temporarily pending his removal by the RSPCA or other appropriate rescue service.

"He seemed in such good health, and made himself at home so quickly that we´ve decided to let him stay," said Holly.

"In fact we´ve all become rather attached to him, and he seems to enjoy just as much attention from our visitors as our seals, otters and penguins."
Holly Stephenson with Albert
Issued by the Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary
For more details, please contact Nigel Croasdale on 01485 533576
Date: 21st October 2011

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