THE five resident seals at Scarborough Sea Life centre have gone “back to school”.
Bubbles, Bruno, Ed, Herbie and Mando are learning new skills in the main seal pool at the centre to help staff better look after them.
As part of their studies they will be getting taught to roll over to show their bellies and to open their mouths so the Animal Care Team can inspect the seals easier.
Senior aquarist Todd German said: “It is important to us here at Scarborough Sea Life that we don’t train our animals for entertainment purposes, the training we do with the animals helps with their wellbeing.”
Training can only be carried out while there are no young seal pups in the large outdoor pool.
As the centre rescues more than 30 injured seal pups every year, there are only one or two months out of the year that the resident seals can be trained.
The purpose of teaching the seals is to build trust between the seals and the staff, and also to make inspecting the seals bodies easier.
The training also helps to enrich the seals life by preventing the seals from becoming under stimulated, which can also cause repetitive behaviour amongst the seals.