Media Release: Aquarium’s thrill-seeking seal passes away

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THE team at St Andrews Aquarium are in mourning today after a much-loved and popular member of their Aquarium family, Laurel the Seal, has passed away.

Laurel was the Aquarium’s very first Harbour Seal, and has been a favourite at the popular Fife visitor attraction for over 20 years, slipped away peacefully on Wednesday.

Laurel’s sad death marks the end of an action-packed life where she brought smiles to the faces of many visitors to St Andrews Aquarium. Laurel came to St Andrews after being found as an abandoned seal pup near Oban in 1991.

Since then, she had been an enduring character at the Aquarium.No stranger to the limelight, Laurel first hit the headlines when her follow seal Hardy was swept out to sea following a horrific storm that hit the Fife Coast in 2010. Laurel lived alone in her extensive salt water seapool for almost 18 months before bosses at the Aquarium sourced her a playmate, Togo.

On Togo’s arrival, both seals were quarantined in separate adjoining pools. Tenacious Laurel, demonstrating you can’t keep a lonely seal away from a new friend, became an overnight internet sensation after defying the laws of gravity and scaling a four foot fence to introduce herself to Togo, following his arrival from Denmark.

A video on YouTube that captured on CCTV the moment Laurel made her audacious escape, and subsequent splash, has clocked up over 11,000 views since it was released.Intelligent and full of fun, Laurel thrived on playing games and showing off her skills, blowing bubbles and flipper waving to visitors.

John Mace, manager of St Andrews Aquarium, said: “Laurel was a true character and she packed a lot into her eventful life. Her tenacity, energy and ability to generate joy is something we will all miss here at the aquarium. We are desperately sad, but her memory will live on through the many, many stories the team here at the Aquarium can tell visitors about the adventures she had.”

The Aquarium plan to remember Laurel with a plaque in the enclosure where she lived for nearly 25 years. Laurel was one of four resident seals in the aquarium. For more information about St Andrews Aquarium please visit


For further information contact Tricia Fox on 017380658187 or mobile 07989 955039

Notes to Editors
Laurel’s Video

To watch Laurel scale the fence in her quest to meet her new Harbour Seal friend, Togo, visit

About St Andrews Aquarium

Situated at the dramatic north facing cliffs, St Andrews Aquarium is an attraction perfect for families and any animal lovers with their exciting and exotic array of animals. There are many underwater creatures to go on adventures with including piranhas, octopus, pufferfish and lionfish as well as Harbour Seals and Humboldt Penguins. There is also a gorgeous group of meerkats and range of reptiles and spiders.Get up close and personal with daily interactive demonstrations which include penguin feeding, seal feeding, and reptile and spider handling sessions.

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Contact: Tricia Fox
Phone: 07989955039