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WATCH: Europe's 'oldest common seal' celebrates 39th birthday

WATCH: Europe's 'oldest common seal' celebrates 39th birthday

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 5:19pm 10th July 2017.

A Cornwall seal - believed to be Europe's oldest common seal - celebrates his 39th birthday.

Babyface joined the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in September 2010, after spending 26 years at Colchester Zoo.

It was after his partner passed away that he joined the Sanctuary family to live with other common seals.

seal

To celebrate his special day, the team decided it was only right he had an icy fish cake to mark his big birthday - and a party.

The cake is made from layers of ice with natural food colouring, as well as sprat and mackerel for a tasty treat as it melts.

And trainers say although this is a fantastic treat for Babyface, it is also part of his enrichment programme.

As well as keeping the animals happy and healthy, the programme provides important bonding time between the team and the animals, allowing them to give them the best possible care.

cake

Natalie Dyer, animal care assistant and Babyface's primary trainer said: "Babyface is the nicest seal in the world and no-one deserves a birthday party more than him.

"Initially Babyface was quite timid, but we have really built a strong bond over the last two years and our mutual trust has definitely aided his husbandry training.

"Last year he learned how to enter his transport cage and this year he has learned to return to the pool on command and is working on showing his teeth for oral examinations. He's still pretty sharp for his age!"

The team are also applying for Babyface to hold a Guinness World Records title for the oldest common seal in captivity in the UK. The Sanctuary holds the current world's longest living male grey seal Guinness World Records title and the Sanctuary are hoping to gain a second title with Babyface.

For birthday entertainment, Amanda, a member of the entertainments team and also a previous American Idol contestant, sang Happy Birthday to him.

You can watch that here...

 

Babyface previously lived with two female common seals Luna and Sija, but for two consecutive years he got Sija pregnant despite the teams' contraceptive efforts.

Sija and Luna were given a new home at Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park and Babyface now lives with his two sons Bo and Buddy and a recent addition to the bachelors pool Jarvis, who was rescued in 2016 and remained at the Sanctuary due to being diagnosed with bilateral cataracts.

seal

The Sanctuary will be holding Babyface his very own birthday weekend on the 15th and 16th of July.

Guests who visit during the weekend can expect to see Babyface getting special treats at 12pm each day.

The Sanctuary will also be giving visitors over the two days an exclusive Babyface birthday pop badge to honour his big birthday celebration.

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