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Chav the African fur seal with his ice lolly - National Seal Sanctuary 2011

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Published on Jul 12, 2011

This is one of two African fur seals at the National Seal Sanctuary (located along the Helston Estuary). Every so often, the seals there get ice lollies which contain fish (usually herring/mackerel or sprats) and it's entertaining to see how the seals react differently to them. The two in this video are a father and son pair, Chav being the younger one. Usually, his dad (Andy) hogs the ice lolly and has it for himself, but in this case, they got one each....will Chav be able to keep his ice lolly or will Andy get it from him?

Before I get people saying that they should be out in the wild etc etc. I think I should let you know that these animals have been in captivity since pups. So releasing them would be a) impractical and b) dangerous to the public. Let me give you an example. One of the other residents at the sanctuary is a male grey seal. His name is Logs. He was originally kept at another sanctuary in the country, and for some reason, was not released after his rehab was completed. At 5 years old, he was released because he was showing aggressive tendencies, like any ordinary male, and his keepers thought that he would be able to fend for himself in the wild. However, after being fed from a bucket after 5 years, Logs had forgotten how to catch his own fish. The Seal Sanctuary got a call from the RSPCA, saying that there was a seal chasing children up and down the beach. He could not understand why there were all of these kids with buckets, but he was not getting fed. So now, he lives at the sanctuary with the knowledge that he will be fed from a bucket.

Other residents at the sanctuary are rescued pups, but for some reason or another, could not be released back into the wild. This could be to an on going illness which would cripple them in the wild, or being blind. One of the seals there is called Ray, who had permanent brain damage, after suffering a head injury when he was a pup, along with being cross eyed and having an under active thyroid.

The main aim of the sanctuary is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release seals who may have suffered injury. It also takes in retired seals who have been performing. It also houses 6 Humboldt Penguins and two Asian Short Clawed Otters.

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