News Update - December 2008

We have been very busy at the sanctuary with a complete refurbishment of our ray tank. The filter plate needed some repairs and that meant that all the rays and dogfish had to be moved into a temporary tank in the marine hospital. All the gravel in the bottom of the tank had to be removed also, bearing in mind there is three tons in there it was quite a task! After we had removed it all, the repairs to the bottom of the tank could be made. Then the fun part...Three tons of new gravel to go back in! After hours and hours of back breaking (literally) labour, the tank is almost ready to go. We just need to wait for the new gravel to mature and then the rays can return home, hopefully in time for Christmas. Undualte Ray
our Peguins Christmas Day for the animals is always a little bit special for them. This year Matthew and Rob have volunteered to work Christmas Day, we are closed to the public, but the animals still need looking after. Rob and Matt have a few treats lined up for the animals this year.

Christmas dinners for the seals, otters, and penguins. No turkey I´m afraid, but the penguins will be having some sand eel as a special treat. Fisherman usually use sand eel as bait for catching bass, and our penguins go absolutely wild for it!
The otters will be getting their usual food, chicks, red meat and non oily fish, accompanying their usual meat will also be the trimmings worthy of a Christmas dinner at home! Carrot, broccoli, sprouts, parsnips, roast chestnuts and red cabbage and even some turkey!

And we won´t be forgetting the seals either. With the pups being in the pool, we can´t give them anything they are unlikely to encounter in the wild, so the seals will be getting some mackerel in addition to their usual herring. Mackerel is a very oily fish so the seals can’t eat it too often, but for a treat there is nothing they enjoy more.
our Otters

One of our residents relaxing on the side of the pool! Speaking of the seals, their pool was given a major clean this month, and to do so, Kirsty and Rob had to drain down the pool completely and give the floor and walls a good scrub.

Of course, having 4 highly mischievous seal pups in there at the same time did make things somewhat more complicated! They were doing everything they could to slow down the cleaning process, however, the novelty soon wore off and they found themselves having a knap on one side while we worked away on the other, Its ok for some! The pool is full again now and the seals are back to their old habbits, eating plenty of fish and splashing as many customers as possible.
We have had the arrival of a new seal pup this month, Ernie, who was found on Holkham beach following an attack by a dog, as if things aren´t bad enough for poor Ernie, he is also suffering from Pneumonia. We are doing all we can for Ernie and he is beginning to look a lot better. A photo to appear here shortly of Ernie.

So from everyone at the Sanctuary, Merry Christmas!
Viewing windows inside the hospital
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