Seal Rescue Girl Celebrates Anniversary


Cornish Seal Sanctuary Curator Tamara Cooper celebrates 16 years of seal rescue.

The former Nottingham woman, who now lives in Penryn, has helped care for more than 700 rescued grey seal pups in her time at the Sanctuary, with well over 90-per-cent being successfully returned to the wild.


Curator Tamara Cooper celebrates 16 years of seal rescue
Curator Tamara Cooper celebrates 16 years of seal rescue Originally from West Bridgford, Notts, Tamara attended Brackenhurst Agricultural College and then completed an HND course in animal science at the Notts´ Trent University.

"I loved working with farm animals, especially horses," she recalls, "but even at that early stage I knew it was a career with wild animals that I really wanted."
A two week "work-experience" posting to the Sanctuary when she was 20 only served to strengthen that ambition.

She went on to gain a BSc in animal science at Sparsholt Agricultural College in Hampshire, earning a prestigious award for a dissertation she wrote on methods of enriching the lives of farmed pigs.
Curator Tamara Cooper celebrates 16 years of seal rescue
Curator Tamara Cooper celebrates 16 years of seal rescue A year´s travelling in Australia and New Zealand saw her enjoy some amazing whale watching excursions, but a close encounter with a leopard seal brought back fond memories of the Seal Sanctuary.

On her return to the UK she applied for a job on the animal care team and started in October 2001. She became senior animal care assistant within three years, graduated quickly to animal care supervisor and became Curator last year.
"There have been so many highlights and memorable experiences," says Tamara, "but one that stands out was the rescue of hooded seal Sahara."

Sahara (photo right) was rescued in 2006 from the coast of Morocco, more than 1,000 miles south of his natural home on the Arctic ice-pack.
Curator Tamara Cooper celebrates 16 years of seal rescue
Curator Tamara Cooper celebrates 16 years of seal rescue He was flown to the Sanctuary where a mission was organised to transport him all the way up to the Orkney Islands for release.

It was hoped he would make his way back home from there, but instead he turned round and swam all the way back to southern Spain, from where he was returned to the Sanctuary and this time given permanent residence.
"I will certainly never forget Sahara," said Tamara, "but what I am most proud of is the way the Sanctuary´s reputation as a world authority on seal rescue and care has continued to grow.

"The Sanctuary is not only regularly consulted by other wildlife attractions around the world, it has also become known as a leader in pioneering surgery - performed by our own local vet and experts from the International Zoo Veterinary Group."
Curator Tamara Cooper celebrates 16 years of seal rescue
Curator Tamara Cooper celebrates 16 years of seal rescue "We are now frequently asked by other facilities if they can send their own seals and sea lions here for lifesaving operations."

"With the Sanctuary about to celebrate its 60th anniversary next year, I am looking forward to exciting times ahead and to rescuing and rehabilitating hundreds more sick, orphaned or injured seal pups in the future."
The Sanctuary will also be celebrating the launch of their newly refurbished seal hospital on 17th October 2017, which the Sanctuary has invested £50,000 into improving the hospital facility.

In her own time Tamara can often be found enjoying a spot of paddle boarding and is also gradually trying to walk the whole length of the Cornish coastline. So even in her leisure time Tamara is seldom without seals for company... somewhere close by.
Curator Tamara Cooper celebrates 16 years of seal rescue


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


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