It is with much sadness that we have announce the loss of Scooby. He died of natural causes after a long and happy life at the sanctuary, where he was a real character. He was a favourite with all our staff and visitors. He had a special way of attracting our attention during feeding time, which started with him slapping his side with one of his flippers, and this would get louder and louder until we gave him a fish.
Scooby came to Gweek with Ken Jones in 1976 when he moved from St Agnes. Ken rescued him in 1971, making him nearly 30 years old.
He was one of life´s characters, wrinkled and grey,
With a wry sense of humour he liked to display,
Though lacking fine graces and social appeal,
There was much to be loved about Scooby, the seal.
It´s strange how things happen, adversity fell,
Yet it led to a berth at a creek-side hotel,
Where the form we´d have glimpsed as a shape in the sea,
Would be known and respected by thousands like me.
In a world where we humans cause havoc and strife,
It was humans who saved him and gave him his life,
And because, as with humans, no two are the same,
It was humans who held him and gave him a name.
And the fact that his scars would disfigure his face,
Served not as a hindrance to friendship´s embrace,
Where blandness and beauty come commonly linked,
The attractions of difference seem quaintly distinct.
So the visitors came and adored and admired,
And they learned new respect through an insight acquired,
And they left with their pictures of caring resource,
But the one they remembered was Scooby, of course.
Just a plain, humble creature retrieved from a beach,
No words to enlighten, no sermons to preach,
Not a spokesman for nature but he put us in touch,
And of man and of mammals, he told us so much.
It´s not sentimental to feel and to care,
For the swimmers of oceans and birds of the air,
We´re benevolent parents with many a child,
Or we´re barely distinct from a beast of the wild.
Just a touch of compassion is all that it takes,
As a small price to pay for the difference it makes,
Our strength isn´t that which exploits and controls,
It´s a whisper of comfort and a meeting of souls.
Old Scooby lived longer than few ever could,
And he died in his sleep, as a gentleman should,
And I smile on his slumber as darkness descends,
For he died as he lived, as a friend among friends.