Babyface celebrates 39th Birthday

Babyface who is believed to be Europe´s oldest common seal celebrates his birthday with his primary trainer Natalie Dyer.

Babyface joined the Cornish Seal Sanctuary on 17th September 2010 after spending 26 years at Colchester Zoo. Unfortunately his partner passed away, so he joined the Sanctuary family so he could live with other common seals.
Babyface with Bo and Buddy Babyface previously lived with two female common seals Luna and Sija, but for two consecutive years he got Sija pregnant despite the teams´ contraceptive efforts.

Sija and Luna were given a new home at Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park and Babyface now lives with his two sons Bo and Buddy (photo left) and a recent addition to the bachelors pool Jarvis, who was rescued in 2016 and remained at the Sanctuary due to being diagnosed with bilateral cataracts.
To celebrate Babyface´s special day, the team decided it was only right he had an icy fish cake to mark his big birthday.

The cake is made from layers of ice with natural food colouring, as well as sprat and mackerel for a tasty treat as it melts!

Although this is a fantastic treat for Babyface, it is also part of his enrichment programme.
Babyface Enrichment is an important aspect of the Animal Care Team´s day to day work. It is how the team keep all of the animals happy and busy throughout the day and helps them to ensure that they are being mentally and physically stimulated.

This can be done in a number of ways including giving toys to encourage exercise and problem-solving, stimulating the animal´s senses and giving food treats in novel ways.
Not only does enrichment keep the animals happy and healthy, it can also provide important bonding time between the team and the animals, allowing them to give them the best possible care.

Natalie Dyer, animal care assistant and Babyface´s primary trainer says "Babyface is the nicest seal in the world and no-one deserves a birthday party more than him!"
Babyface "Initially Babyface was quite timid, but we have really built a strong bond over the last two years and our mutual trust has definitely aided his husbandry training."

"Last year he learned how to enter his transport cage and this year he has learned to return to the pool on command and is working on showing his teeth for oral examinations. He´s still pretty sharp for his age!" she said.
The team are also applying for Babyface to hold a Guinness World Records title for the oldest common seal in captivity in the UK. The Sanctuary holds the current world´s longest living male grey seal Guinness World Records title and the Sanctuary are hoping to gain a second title with Babyface.

For birthday entertainment, Amanda who is a member of the entertainments team and also a previous American Idol contestant sang Happy Birthday to him as he watched in awe.
Babyface The Sanctuary will be holding Babyface is very own birthday weekend on the 15th & 16th of July 2017. Guests who visit during the weekend of the 15th & 16th July can expect to see Babyface getting special treats at 12 noon each day.

The Sanctuary will also be giving visitors during that weekend an exclusive Babyface birthday pop badge to honour his big birthday celebration!


Babyface will be receiving birthday treats over the weekend which would provide fantastic photos and video
Date: Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th July 2017
Time: 12 noon
Venue: The Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Press Release issued by the Cornish Seal Sanctuary
For more details, please contact Georgina Shannon on 01326 221361
Issue Date: 10th July 2017