PEPPER

It is our very sad duty to inform you that Pepper, our female California sea lion, died on 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.

When Pepper met Rocky on 18th of December 1992
When Pepper met Rocky on 18th of December 1992

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.

Our Princess Pepper in February 2006

Past Friends