Dogs visit residents at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary during lockdown

3 minute read
Dogs visit residents at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary during lockdown

Published at 2:00pm 30th May 2020. (Updated at 11:41am 1st June 2020)

Dogs have been visiting seals at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek during lockdown, to help get them used to having visitors again.

Each year, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary welcomes over 100,000 guests through their doors to meet their rescued seal pups and resident animals.

For the first time in over 60 years, the Sanctuary has had to close its doors for the past two and a half months due to the necessary lockdown.

With the Sanctuary having no guests walking around, the animals have definitely noticed the difference like one of their grey seals Aayla who loves to people watch from the underwater viewing area.

The team have been working around the clock to provide lots of extra enrichment and fun for the animals to keep them healthy, happy and entertained. 

“During this closure, we have been working very hard to ensure once the time is right we can safely welcome our guests once more.

"We have put capacity restrictions in place, have implemented social distancing guidance around site , enhanced our cleaning regime, added hand sanitiser stations and installed protective equipment to keep our staff and guests safe.”

             Jana Sirova, General manager of the Sanctuary

Hugo the dog and Aayla the grey seal (002)

With ideas running out, the staff at the Sanctuary decided to bring their dogs in to say hello to the seals and to remind them of what it is like when the Sanctuary is open. The animals were very intrigued to see dogs again on site and enjoyed interacting with them.

The team have also been playing music over the speaker system to help to keep the residents calm and happy. This follows research conducted at the Sanctuary by student Mati Skerrit, in 2017. She found that playing classical music to our California sea lions decreased anxious behaviours and increased time spent playing and swimming.

With the Sanctuary still being closed, and with no certain opening date, they are struggling without the vital revenue from their guests. It costs the charity £23,000 a month for their dedicated animal care team to feed, provide daily care, vital medicines and equipment to the Sanctuary's residents. 

The Sanctuary are now entering their third month without guests, and need your support more than ever. They are asking for support via donations towards their 'Seal Appeal' -

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