Gimli Celebrates her Birthday
uShaka Sea World staff celebrate Gimli’s Birthday
Gimli, was born at uShaka Sea World’s previous home on the Durban Beachfront on the 21st of November 1986 and celebrated turning 29 on Saturday the 21st of November. Her parents were Siggi and Benji.
Lead Animal Behaviourist , Hayley Tennant was introduced to Gimli when she was still at school volunteering during the holidays and over weekends. It was love at first sight for Hayley when she first met Gimli and the two have shared a close relationship, lasting 26 years.
As the average life expectancy for a Cape Fur Seal (arctocephalus pusillus) is only 19 years, it is understandable that Hayley is proud and grateful to be celebrating Gimli’s 29th Birthday. Gimli was named after a character in JRR Tolkens Lord of the Rings as she was initially thought to be a male. She is a particularly beautiful seal with extraordinarily long whiskers and a charming personality.
She retired from public presentations a few years ago and currently spends her time with her companion Moya and devoted care givers. Although she is frail, she remains strong-willed and loves playing with the water hose and swimming through divers’ bubbles. Her favourite food is squid and as a tribute to her the trainers made ice lollies with her favourite food and gelatine.
It is estimated that there is a worldwide population of 1.5 million Cape Fur Seals who are equally at home on land and sea with few natural predators. Adult seals fall prey to sharks and killer whales and young pups occasionally fall prey to Jackals and Brown Hyenas. Undoubtedly their greatest threat is people.
Join the uShaka Sea World team in celebrating Gimli’s Birthday and spreading her birthday wish - discarded fishing line and plastic bags belong in bins, not on the beach.