Sausage Dog And Seal Pup Strike Up Unlikely Friendship
Two-year-old Stanley and his owner Melanie Talbot visited the Sea Life Trust Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, Cornwall, last week, which is home to rescue seal Aayla.
There seemed to be a bond building as soon as the cute pair clapped eyes on each other, with Melanie saying the seal swam straight up to the glass and pressed her nose towards the pooch on the other side during the 20-minute encounter.
The new mates then posed for a few snaps, before Ayala swam off.
Melanie, from Newtown, Powys, said: "I couldn't believe it when they posed up, I've never seen anything like that before.
"When I looked at the photo I captured it just made me think that friendships can blossom in any animals - it was nice to see different species form such a bond.
"Someone commented that when dachshunds sleep they tuck their feet in and they do look like seals.
"Stanley had his snood on over his ears too because it was cold that day - maybe that's why she came up to him and was so inquisitive.
"You wouldn't think the glass was there, it just looks like their noses are touching and that she's whispering to him.
"In the picture the seal has her head on one side, she looks almost like a dog in that pose.
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"It was so lovely and such a heartwarming thing to see."
Melanie said that Stanley is happy in front of the camera, but says she never managed to photograph such a 'magical' interaction before.
Melanie said: "I've never seen anything like that before. Stanley has doggy friends, but this is the first time he's made friends with another type of animal.
"When we went to look at the seals outside she kept coming out of the water to look at him, they seemed to have a magical bond, which felt really nice.
"I'm really happy with how the photograph came out."
The Sea Life Trust Cornish Seal Sanctuary takes care of grey seal pups - such as Aayla - found along the Cornish coastline and successfully rehabilitates more than 70 pup each year.
Little Aayla was rescued from Bacton in Norfolk back in 2017 - the poor pup was malnourished and had a small injury on one of her flippers which had become so badly infected, vets had to remove several of her bones.
Thankfully, she has made a full recovery and has lived at the sanctuary since 2018.
Marketing manager at Sea Life Trust Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Georgina Shannon, said: "Aayla is very active and enjoys playing with other seals.
"Her favourite activity is to sneak up the team, and to pester the other seals when sunbathing.
"Aayla is very intelligent and quick to pick up new things during her training sessions, even with her part-amputated flipper she still manages to keep up with the others and get into plenty of mischief."
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media