Media Release: Seal overcomes barriers to reach new pup


BOSSES at St Andrews Aquarium are still reeling after security camera footage revealed a 90kg harbour seal’s successful attempt to overcome metal barriers to welcome new seal pup, Togo, to the aquarium.

Togo, a one year-old seal pup who was flown 1253km to his new home at St Andrews Aquarium, just last week, was in a separate pool to allow him time to adjust to his new surroundings.

Laurel, who celebrated her 20th birthday just last month, was in a pool next to Togo’s, separated by four-foot high metal fencing.

Aquarium bosses had planned to formally introduce the two earlier this week; however, on Friday evening, just 15 minutes after the Aquarium had closed its doors, Laurel decided to take matters into her own flippers.

Security camera footage from the Aquarium shows the 90kg seal making several unsuccessful attempts to scale the barrier fencing, hampered by her sheer size and physical make up.

However, despite physical challenges, Laurel quickly masters the art of ladder climbing using just her front flippers to hoist her large, heavy body onto the top of the barrier, before wobbling slightly and eventually toppling over the fence to the other side to meet Togo.

John Mace, manager of St Andrews Aquarium, said: “We couldn’t believe it when we came in on Saturday morning to find Laurel and Togo swimming around together.

“There was evidence that the fencing was slightly damaged, but when we watched back the security camera footage we just couldn’t believe what we were seeing.”

He continued: “Laurel was clearly determined to get in to see Togo and obviously wasn’t going to let metal security fencing stand in her way!

“You could say we have been ‘flipping’ amazed by both her strength and her tenacity!”

Togo’s arrival into Aberdeen airport on Thursday 21st July caused quite a stir with both passengers and staff at Aberdeen Airport, thanks to the assistance of Aberdeen-based airline bmi Regional who were able to transport Togo from Esbjerg in Denmark, to his new home in Scotland, cutting the anticipated duration of his journey from 48 hours to just eight hours.

Twitter users also followed Togo’s journey from Denmark to Scotland on the Aquarium’s twitter page.

His tweets were so popular that Togo has now been given his very own twitter account (@togotheseal) and he has already amassed 60 followers who are avidly interacting with his tweets about his new life on Fife’s stunning coast.

Togo and Laurel have been spending the week getting to know each other.

Once the barriers were taken down, Togo got the opportunity to venture into Laurel’s bigger pool and the two have been seen playing together happily by visitors to the Aquarium this week.

The video of Laurel’s Quest to meet Togo is available on YouTube at

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Contact: Tricia Fox
Phone: 01738 658187