Seal pup in America has Oban link

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A zoo in America is running a competition to name a grey seal pup – with Oban among the three choices.

A keeper at Louisville Zoo in Kentucky put forward the name to honour the work of the former Scottish Sealife Sanctuary which closed its premises in Barcaldine in 2018.

The centre led the way in seal conservation and rescue and rescued and released 41 grey seals.

US keeper Anna Stradley hailed the ‘great’ conservation work it did with grey seals and has urged people to vote for Oban.

In another link to Scotland, the seal pup’s mother is also called Rona – after the small island off Raasay.

Other names in the running are Finsbay, from a seal colony at the Isle of Harris, and Noaa, which stands for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the US’ first conservation agency.

The Louisville Zoo is a non-profit organisation accredited by American’s Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

AZA accredits those attractions which meet the highest standards in animal care and welfare.

The pup, born on December 28, was part of AZA’s Species Survival Plan for grey seals to help maintain the genetic diversity of managed animal populations.

People can vote for their favorite name until 11:59pm on February 23 at  LouisvilleZoo.org/vote in a competition sponsored by T-Mobile.

A minimum requested donation of $5 will go towards the care and feeding of the pup.

Eight seal pups have been born at the zoo which will announce the winning name on February 25 at https://www.facebook.com/Louisvillezoo