Seal overcomes barriers to reach new friend


By Kirsty Topping


Laurel looks at Togo over the barrier…

A DETERMINED seal was so desperate to meet her new pool mate she scaled a fence to get to him.

Laurel, a harbour seal, had been separated from new arrival Togo to allow the new addition to St Andrews Aquarium to get used to his new home.

The one year old pup was flown in from Denmark last week to replace Laurel’s former companion, Hardy, who was washed away during a storm last year.

Aquarium bosses separated the pair by a 4ft blue metal fence so they could see each other but staff were amazed when they arrived at work on Saturday morning to find both seals swimming in the same pool.

…before wobbling on the top of the fence…

Upon realizing that the fence separating the pools had been damaged staff checked the aquarium’s security cameras and were amazed at what they saw.

Just 15 minutes after closing time CCTV footage showed the 20 year old animal weaving back and forward in front of the fence separating the two animals before heaving her 90kg frame to the top, wobbling for a moment before toppling into Togo’s pool with a massive splash.

The seal spent several minutes attempting to climb the fence unsuccessfully before managing her impressive feat.

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. “

…and landing with a splash on the other side

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!”

Staff have now posted the amazing footage of Laurel’s climbing skills on the internet.

One-year-old Togo arrived at the Aquarium on July 21, after a marathon 1300 mile flight from the Fisheries and Maritime Museum in Esbjerg, Denmark.

Staff at St Andrews had been searching for a new companion for Laurel after Hardy went missing during a violent storm but were hampered by new laws which prevented them from taking one from the wild.

A twitter feed of the animal’s journey via Aberdeen airport proved so successful that he now has his own account.


View the video at here