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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2008, 14:50 GMT
Seal marks 40th with fishy cake
Magnus the seal at Gweek
Magnus has been living at Gweek since 1990
A seal who lives in a Cornish sanctuary is getting ready to celebrate his 40th birthday in style.

Magnus, who lives at the National Seal Sanctuary at Gweek, is thought to be the oldest male grey seal in captivity.

He will be celebrating with a special fish cake made from sprat, herring and conger eel.

"Magnus loves his conger eel, and will be reluctant to share his cake with any of the other residents," said Tamara Cooper, animal care supervisor.

Fifteen years ago the future looked bleak for Magnus.

Fatima is a little out of sorts as Magnus still does not fancy her
Tamara Cooper

The Scottish zoo he was housed in wanted to put him to sleep as he was the only seal who lived there.

But after a successful petition to save him and find him a new home, Magnus became a permanent resident at Gweek in 1990.

"Magnus is still in good health despite his age," said Ms Cooper.

"He knows how to conserve his energy, and at feeding time becomes a grumpy old man if not fed fast enough, but he still has enough energy for splashing the Animal Care Team."

And despite his advanced years he is still attracting the attention of a number of his female companions with seals Fatima and Sheba both pursuing him but to no avail.

"Fatima is a little out of sorts as Magnus still does not fancy her, and she is doing all she can to entice him, but still nothing and even Sheba is not having any luck," Ms Cooper added.

Male grey seals normally live for about 30 years in the wild, with females usually living up to 40 years.

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