We often wonder whether animals are aware of their birthdays in the same way that us humans are. While our cats and dogs may get thrown a birthday party each year (just us?), the truth of the matter is that they probably just see it as a special day where they’re allowed to eat food that they don’t normally get given, as well as being presented with a few new toys.
But for animals who aren’t our pets, their birthday is pretty much just another day to them. In fact, we’re pretty sure that animals aren’t aware of how old they are in the first place. But whether they’re aware of if it’s their birthday or not, we still can’t help feeling sad for animals who don’t get to celebrate their birthdays.
So when we came across a story of a rescue seal who was presented with his very own birthday cake on his 31st birthday, our hearts fully melted. The seal seemed to be completely overjoyed with his surprise, and seal sanctuary workers captured some of the most adorable pictures of him.
Yulelogs the gray seal was rescued by a marine park in the North of England back in 1989 when he was still just a pup. The pup soon grew accustomed to living in the park, but before long it had closed down, and Yulelogs was released back into the wild again. The problem was, Yulelogs had become used to his life in the sanctuary, and he struggled to cope now that he was out in the wild again.
“After such a long time in captivity, he had no idea how to feed himself and had become too used to humans,” explained the official website of the Cornish Seal Sanctuary.
In the next few months, Yulelogs was still struggling to fend for himself, having gotten used to humans feeding him his meals. Thanks to his time in the park, he was incredibly tame and began asking humans for help.
“Three months after his release, Yulelogs was rescued by the RSPCA after receiving calls from concerned members of the public saying he had been chasing people with buckets on the beach, believing they contained fish,” the team of the sanctuary writes on their official website.
As the RSPCA checked on the seal, they found out something shocking. A healthy seal is expected to weigh around 551lbs (250kg), but Yulelogs weighed only around 132lb (60kg), meaning he was dangerously underweight.
“It was apparent he needed care, so the RSPCA asked the Cornish Seal Sanctuary if they would provide a permanent home for him,” reads the website.
Luckily, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary offered to take Yulelogs in, and the seal soon settled happily into his new home. He gets all the fish that he could ever dream of, and has just celebrated his 31st birthday in the best way possible: with a huge, frozen ice cake filled with fish.
As it turns out, most male grey seals only live to around 25 years of age, so there’s even more of a reason to celebrate! And the pictures clearly show that Yulelogs was having the best day.
“Yulelogs absolutely loved his birthday cake,” Georgina Shannon, the marketing and media coordinator for the sanctuary, told The Dodo. “It’s a great form of enrichment for him also, as it requires a bit of thinking on how to get the fish out of the cake!”
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