SOS logo S.O.S. Update National Seal Sanctuary
Issue 42
24th April 2010
Penguins Arrive
The Sanctuary is very pleased to announce that we now have a colony of five Humboldt penguins. We have one adult female called Ivy and four chicks, two sisters (red chick & blue chick) and two brothers (green chick & pink chick) yet to have names, we are asking our visitors to name the four penguins and winners will be announced at the end of April 2010.

All five are enjoying their new home here at the Sanctuary, and have settled in and feeding well. Green chick is eating the most quickly followed by Ivy. Blue chick and Red chick like to play chase with each other darting around the enclosure that is sometimes very hard to keep track of them.

All the penguins are being fed on sprats and Ivy is the most dominate and will even steal fish out of the other penguins beaks.

Click here to see a selection of photos and video taken during the official opening of the penguin enclosure on
1st April 2010 by the Pirate FM´s girlband ´Eden´.
Penguins arrive and start exploring their new home
With another five rescued seal pups ready to go, a release was planned for the 13th April 2010 at Gwithian, ready to leave the Sanctuary were Lilly, who a few days after her release, was spotted doing well in the wild, Angelina, Dumbledore, Snowdrop and Pomona and all went quickly out the trailer and into the water.
Convalescent Pool
With the last of the seal pups now being moved to the Common Pool, Marlin was free to go back to the Convalescent Pool. The gate was lifted and Marlin made his way out to be reunited with all his friends. Despite Snoopy getting older and her lack of vision spotted Marlin straight away and started howling, next was Attie who took no notice, Anneka who was in the bottom of the pool and looked in the direction knowing something was going on. Ray seem to stare at Marlin as he made his way around the side of the pool and down the steps (the pool was empty as we were cleaning today) Ray looked shocked and surprised and he went bounding over to Marlin and was very pleased to have his best friend back. Sheba unhappy at being left on her own during the breeding season, came over and bit Marlin as if to tell him off for leaving her, hopefully Sheba will forgive him over the coming days. All have now finished moulting and are looking very pretty especially Snoopy who is looking very blonde. Ray managed a few tuffs of fur.
Rescued Pup Update
We now still have nine pups left with us Weasley, Guilderoy and Bagshot (photo below) are all doing well in the pup rehabilitation pool.

In nursery pools 1 and 2 we have Mad Eye Moody who is receiving treatment for his other eye, but doing well, he is sharing his pool with Lavender.

With only four pups in the Convalescent pool we have moved Neville, Mr Norris, Ronnie and Tonks up to the Common Seal Pool, these four are having lots of fun with Luna and Sija.
Luna and Sija
Luna and Sija are having lots of fun with the rescued seal pups, chasing each other around the pool, as we have had to take out their favourite toys. Luna and Sija have also been off their food, but now they have got extra mouths in the pool, it seems to have got their appetite back.
Sea Lions
André is doing lots of shouting at the top of his voice, and keeping a sharp eye on the Animal Care Team on the lead up to feeding time, by darting around the pool and jumping to look over the top of the enclosure.

Also André has started to steal fish from Diego, we throw the fish in to the water and before Diego gets a chance to go after it, André is straight in the water after it. Unfortunately Diego now refuses point blank to go in the water at feeding time for fish.

Both Noito and Diego are growing up fast and looking more like a Patagonian Sea Lion every day. Noito likes to help our entertainments team in the morning by making sure they clean the windows properly.
Andy and Chaff
Andy and Chaff have now finished their diets and once again looking trim. Both were treated to ice-blocks but Chaff was not quick enough and Andy managed to get both. Due to the fantastic weather in Cornwall, both have been spending the afternoons cooling down by holding their flippers in the air.
Flipper and Yulelogs
Flipper and Yulelogs are now out of the breeding season and having finished their moult both are once again the best of friends. Flipper’s eye sight having got a little worse (like us all as we get older) the Animal Care Team have started to adapt his training. We now tap the pole on the side of the pool near the water, this lets Flipper know we have come to feed him, and to get him having a little bit of exercise, throw the fish in the pool but close to his whiskers so he can find them.
Starsky and Hutch
Starsky and Hutch are looking to join a circus as both can be found most days juggling small pebbles for our visitors. Both seem to pend time at the top of the waterfall (when not juggling) looking at what is happening. Also had double treats this week with crabs and ice blocks.
Paddocks - Goats, Sheep and Ponies
The two new sheep have now been named Patrick (blue collar) and Florence (Flo for short, red collar) both have settled in and are very friendly. Stanley is still butting the staff and volunteers when they go in and try and clean the field and feed them at the end of the day.

Bella has a little thing for handles at the moment broom handles, rake handles, spade handles any type really. The two new goats Andrew and Steve have settled in with Steve the friendliest. Andrew seems to have taken a leaf out of Monty’s book and keeps trying to get over the fence, perhaps like Monty he thinks he is a horse. Monty has set up a competition for him and Steve called ‘The Goat High Jumping Competition’ as Monty was a little bigger he won, so Steve is doing lots of practice for the next round.

Bracken, Tuppance and Muffin have been very lazy over the last few weeks, and enjoying the sunshine. They are loving the new fence that Wayne and Craig (plus all the others who helped) and have lots of grass too munch on. The lazy horses have taken to sitting on the grass nibbling the grass around them before getting up moving to another patch and once again sitting down to eat.
Sahara 2006 - 2010
We are devastated to tell you all that ´Sahara´, our Hooded seal, has passed away. He was only 4 years old but had probably travelled more miles on more modes of transport then any seal we´ll ever know!

His health had never been what you would call ´perfect´. Rescued off the coast of Morrocco at 3 months old Sahara was completely bald and suffering from a lung infection. He was transferred to Gweek where he underwent his rehab and eventually grew back a full coat. Once ready for release he was fitted with a satellite tag and released off Orkney but unfortunately restranded a month later off the North coast of Spain, again suffering from a lung infection.

Sahara returned to Gweek as a resident and blood tests revealed he was suffering from hypothyroidism for which he began treatment for. Generally, his health was ok but suffered spells of ill health where he exhibited various symptoms for which he was treated. In the last 2 weeks Sahara had been on and off his food. Despite injections of long acting antibiotic over the past 2 weeks sadly Sahara passed away on Thursday 8th April 2010.

The preliminary post mortem report has found that abscess on the lung. Sahara´s amazing story inspired many people outside the sanctuary team and caught the imagination of people all over the world. So much has been learnt from Sahara and the adventures we have undertaken with him, but most of all, for all the team who adored him, it will be his fab, if a little confused, personality and individual ways that will be hugely missed.
Sahara 2006 - 2010
It can cost up to £1000+ to rescue rehabilitate and release a grey seal pup. Help Us to Help Them.

All rescued seal pups are still available for adoption. Pup adoptions start from £25, click on this link for more information or email the adoption coordinator at If you would like to donate now click on this link.