Update 5th January 2007

It is our very sad duty to inform you that Pepper, our female California sea lion, died on Tuesday 2nd of January 2007.

Originally part of a trio of performing sea lions at the Cape Cod Aquarium in the USA, Pepper arrived at the Seal Sanctuary in 1992 when the Aquarium closed. She was re-homed at Gweek as a partner for our lone male California sea lion, Rocky.

Our Princess Pepper in February 2006

From day one, Pepper and Rocky were virtually inseparable. Although they never produced any pups together, Rocky was very attentive to his partner and they would often be found sleeping alongside each other at the end of the day.

Over the last year, the Animal Care Team had noticed a progressive reduction in Pepper’s mobility and activity levels. Showing behaviour consistent with chronic arthritis, Pepper was treated with a range of medications to relieve discomfort and to improve her quality of life. Unfortunately, the various therapies employed did not prevent her condition from deteriorating further over the last three months, as her health became more fragile. As a result of these changes, and with full veterinary advice and support, the Sanctuary made the most difficult decision to put Pepper to sleep.

Surrounded on the day by the Animal Care Team, Pepper laid down on cue one last time to permit the administration of drugs that would remove her pain forever.

In the 14 years that Pepper was at the Seal Sanctuary, she was a perennial favourite with countless visitors who were wowed by her displays of trained husbandry and medical behaviours. Ever the princess, Pepper never lost an opportunity to remind her carers that she was always in control, even if she gave in to our requests from time to time for the price of a few fish.

Pepper enjoyed an active 27 years of life, and it is the agile and playful Pepper who will be remembered in our thoughts. As the Sanctuary moves forward with future developments, Pepper will always be a part of what goes on. She will be missed indeed.

Magnus is in tip top form and has been very hungry this week, we think he has also got his second wind and is spending a lot of time with Fatima.

Fatima loves the attention from Magnus.

Lizzie and Atlanta are both the best of friends at the moment and spending lots of time together.

Now that Fatima is back with Magnus, Sheba is missing Ray who is still recovering in nursery pool 1.

Snoopy is unhappy with the amount of pups in the convalescence pool, and spends most of her time moaning, as the pups keep nicking all the fish.

Both Ray and Marlin are still receiving antibiotics for their wounds and being cleaned daily; unfortunately Marlin is taking the pills out of his fish before he eats them.

Little Ed is still doing lots of flipper stands (handstands) in the pool, so all you can see is his bottom in the air. Flotsam and Jetsam are helping Ed with his weight problem by stealing his fish.

Yulelog is unhappy as he is losing his fish to the sea gulls, so he needs to move a little quicker. Flipper is doing fine and is having no problems with the sea gulls.

Carus is hungry at the moment so he was treated to a conger eel this week. He also thinks that the Animal Care Team are lying to him when they bang the empty bucket on the floor, and will head for them just to check it out for himself. This means the Animal Care Team have to make a quick exit from his pool.

Chaff has been having an issue with the sea gulls this week. The Animal Care Team will throw the fish, and if Chaff is too slow, the gulls get it, but Chaff doesn’t see this and keeps on hunting for the missing fish.

Chaff and Mika were also sizing up Rocky this week, as the Animal Care Team put Rocky in the walk between their pools while they looked at Pepper. Both Chaff and Mika were trying to be brave and doing lots of barking, but when Rocky came over to see what was going on, the fur seals jumped back into the pool, they are just two big cowards.

Thai and Bamboo have been doing lots of posing for the visitors who wanted to take pictures of them. Thai was up to her old trick of trying to take the microphone whilst Claire was doing her talk; Thai thinks she can do a better job.

Elvis is back to his old self now and all the goats have been sheltering from the rain.

All the ponies were mad with the volunteers this week, as after they had been given their morning food, the volunteers forgot to open the paddock gate to the field, and so all the ponies missed out on a few hours of eating.

Our cat, Reef’s ear is healing and he now walks up to the hospital with the Animal Care Team after feeding in the hope that there might be some fish left over.


Convalescence Pool
Baloo and Taz have now been moved in to the convalescence pool and by 11am that same day they were happy and feeding very well. All the other seals, (too many to name!) are doing well and Animal Care Team think they might have some more seals ready for release in a few weeks time. We will keep you posted.

Nursery Pool
Eve, Mowgil, Yogi and Nemo are in the nursery pool. Eve has finally taken an interest in fish but is a little slow at catching them!

Chip is doing really well, and his broken jaw continues to heal, you could say he was feeling quite chipper!! (Apologies for the bad pun by our Curator Glenn). Belle has been given glucose and is now feeling a lot better, her wounds are healing, and we have taken another set of bloods, and if clear, she can start having her pen filled. Woody is now a very fat seal, and is scaring the Animal Care Team when they go into his pen. He is also having his pen filled with water, and should soon be moving to the nursery pools. Bambi is doing well and her wounds are healing, she is now hand/self feeding and is enjoying the new bigger pen.

Hospital - Isolation
Arial continues to have her wounds treated and cleaned, and at the moment is very lovely shade of green.

Pup Number Thirty Two - The Sanctuary received a telephone call from a member of the public about a seal at Mousehole on Wednesday 3rd of January 2007. Clare headed out with the rescue kit and cage and found the pup on the beach. An assessment revealed that the pup was malnourished and had some wounds so the pup was brought back to Gweek. The pup was weighed and found to be 16.5 kilos and 10 weeks of age; this pup is underweight for its age. The pup was given a clinical assessment and wounds to the rear left flipper were cleaned and treated. The clinical assessment also revealed an ulcer to the right eye and a course of antibiotics and eye drops were started. This pup is a little girl and been named Rhubarb.

Pup Number Thirty Three - On Thursday 4th of January 2007, the Sanctuary received a telephone call from a member of the public about a seal at Port Loe. Abi headed out with cage and rescue kit to find the pup. The pup was found on the beach to be malnourished with wounds to body and flippers and was brought back to Gweek for treatment. Back at the Sanctuary a clinical assessment revealed that the pup was malnourished and weighed 20.5 kilos and was about 8 weeks old. It had wounds to body and flippers, a graze to top and bottom lip plus its chin, and an ulcer to its eye. The pup has been put on a course of antibiotics and eye drops and also some anti inflammatories as one of the flippers is a little swollen. This pup is a little girl and been called Olive.

Did you know that.....All our pups are up for adoption. Please check out our adoption page for more information.

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