The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is one of the top tourist destinations in South Cornwall and a must-see for anyone visiting the area. To help your trip to the sanctuary run smoothly we have included everything you need to know about the attraction below.
About the Cornish Seal Sanctuary
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary sits on its own 40 acre estate, surrounded by beautiful Cornish scenery, in the charming village of Gweek, South Cornwall. As the only fully operational seal rescue centre in Cornwall, the sanctuary is a hive of activity as the staff provide round the clock care for sick and injured seal pups from all over the Cornish coast. Visit the Cornish Seal Sanctuary and not only can you learn about their work with rescued pups but you can also relax in the wide open spaces and meet both the resident seals and other animals that call the sanctuary home.
As well as working hard to reintroduce rescued seal pups to the wild, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary also looks after a number of resident animals. From seals to sheep you’ll find a full list of the sanctuary’s current residents below;
Grey seals: The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is currently home to eleven grey seals; Flipper, Marlin, Pumpkin, Ray, Yulelogs, Badger, Atlanta, Lizzie, Willow, Sheba and Snoopy. Each seal has its own individual personality and they’re not afraid to show it off! You will often see Pumpkin floating around the enclosure on his surfboard. Flipper is really handy when it comes to cleaning the tank and often grabs the hose from keepers.
Common seals: At present, the sanctuary is home to three playful common seals; Babyface, Bo and Buddy. The common seals are very popular with visitors, with many taking a special interest in Bo and Buddy, the sanctuary’s newest residents. Bo was born to mum Sija, who now lives at Weymouth SEALIFE centre, and dad Babyface in 2013. Bo's younger brother Buddy followed the year later. The brothers love to swim around the pool as they learn all the skills necessary to become a good seal.
Sea Lions: The sanctuary is home is four sea lions: two Patagonian Sea Lions called Noito and Diego, and two Californian Sea Lions called Sunny and Andre. The sea lions are very playful and use their front flippers to gallop around their enclosure. Andre is currently the sanctuary's nosiest resident, with many guests claiming they can hear him before they see him.
Otters: Apricot is the Sanctuary's resident Asian Short Clawed Otter. She is very popular with guests, especially around feeding time, when she can be seen washing her food before she eats it!
Penguins: The current Humbolt Penguin colony at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary has eight members; Gilbert, Piran, Ivy, Waddles, Godfrey, Lola, Yoni and Pine. The comical penguins can often be seen splashing about in their pool, with Yoni taking particular pleasure from teasing passing dogs in the underwater viewing area.
Paddock animals: The sanctuary isn’t just home to sea creatures. There is also a goat called Steve, three sheep called Stanley, Bluebell and Bella, and three beautiful ponies called Tuppence, Bracken and Muffin.
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary relies on the support and generosity of their visitors to help maintain their vital rescue and rehoming work. By adopting a rescued seal pup, you help the centre care for these animals before they are able to safely return them to the wild. Alternatively, by adopting one of the resident animals, you’re helping ensure that these animals spend the remainder of their lives safe and happy at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary.
For more information on adoption, please visit the sanctuary’s website; www.visitsealife.com/gweek/adoptions.
Opening times and prices
Opening times: The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is open all year round except for Christmas Day (December 25th). Please check on the website for the closing times as they vary depending on the time of year.
Animal feeding times and talks: Learn more about the residents at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary by attending one of the days many animal talks. The sanctuary’s talented team are on hand to help you find out more about the animals and answer any questions you may have. Please check with staff on arrival for the day's feeding and talk schedule.
Prices: Online prices – adults £10.46, children (3-14 years) £8.75, concessions (60 years+) £9.76, students (ID needed) £9.76, family of four £35
On the door prices – adults £14.95, children (3-14 years) £12.50, concessions (60 years+) £13.95, students (ID needed) £13.95, family of four £46.20
Gift experiences: The Cornish Seal Sanctuary offer two fantastic gift experiences for guests, where you can either become a keeper for the day (£99), or join the seals for breakfast (£50). Both of these experiences are sure to provide you with unforgettable memories so to find out more please visit the sanctuary’s website: www.visitsealife.com/gweek/plan-your-visit/
To reach the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, simply head to the village of Gweek, turn right before you reach the Black Swan Pub and then follow signs to the sanctuary.
Address: Cornish SEAL Sanctuary, Gweek, Cornwall, TR12 6UG
Telephone: 01326 221361
To discover more wildlife attractions in South Cornwall, check out our guide ‘5 of the best Wildlife Spots in South Cornwall’. It’s packed full of interesting facts and great days out for the whole family.