Seal-ed with a kiss: Sea Life Sanctuary makes learning fun
PLAYING football with seals and finding crabs in creels are just some of the activities on offer at the Sea Life Sanctuary in Barcaldine.
As well as an interactive cove, which allows children to learn as they play, the sanctuary also offers sea tours and the chance to feed and play with seals.
The tours are operated by Paul Mills, who entertains and informs the crowd with his knowledge of the wildlife and the area.
On the day I joined Paul, he took his boat from the sanctuary and our first port of call was a salmon farm, where passengers can watch the fish jump and skim across the surface of the water.
From there, Paul took the boat round the many nearby islands, all the while keeping an eye out for cetaceans such as porpoise and dolphins, eagles and seals.
If the tours prove unsuccessful in spotting wildlife, Paul has backup creels hidden beneath the waves, which are often filled with various species of crab.
Bridget Bentley from America, who was on holiday in Oban and joined the trip, said: ‘ I thought it was very informative, interesting and fun for the children – good family fun and the guide was excellent.’
Also on offer is a VIP experience with the seals, which is run by Anna Price, who works at the sanctuary.
With Anna’s support and guidance, participants are invited to feed the seals and order them to carry out tasks such as fetching hoops, waving, rolling over and dribbling a football into the back of a net.
Anna Price said: ‘ It’s a privilege to work with the animals and bring members of the public in to see them.
‘ I love doing it and I never forget that it’s a privilege and what people see, they are never going to forget – that’s what I love.’
For more information visit www.visitsealife.com/oban or call 01631 720386.
Oban Times reporter David McPhee, right, gets a kiss from Blue the seal. 17_ t33sealife01
A group of holidaymakers set off on a tour. 17_t30sealife01
A family compares some of the crabs that came up in the creel. 17_t30sealife10
Paul Mills tells a story on one of his sea tours. 17_t30sealife03