Concerns have been raised at St Andrews Aquarium after two seals died in a matter of weeks.
The passing of the oldest seal, Laurel, was followed by the unfortunate death of the youngest seal Leif. Whilst Laurel’s demise had been attributed to liver failure after a distinguished service of over 20 years at the aquarium, Leif’s death was unexpected.
Consequently, both seals have been transferred to a specialist research unit near Inverness for a detailed autopsy to work out if the deaths are connected.
In the meantime, access to the seal pool has been restricted while the two remaining seals, Nelly and Togo, are being closely observed for any signs of illness.
Commenting on the 50 per cent drop in the seal population, aquarium manager John Mace said: “We are devastated at the loss of Leif, but we are lucky that Scotland has some of the foremost experts in the world on seals and we anticipate that we’ll have answers within a week.
“We are, of course, concerned about Togo and Nelly and both are being closely monitored until we have further guidance from experts as to whether there is any underlying reason for both Laurel or Leif’s death, or if it is simply a tragic coincidence.”