Shirley soaks up rays

Patagonian sealion, Shirley, took time out from entertaining holiday visitors with her antics in the pool to soak up some of that rare summer sunshine yesterday.

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While her companions, Orry and Cleopatra, were quite content to carry on swimming around in the cool water of the 11th century Dudley Castle moat Shirley moved poolside for an afternoon snooze, instead. 

But she can be a little stubborn . . .

Shirley in a strop caused a few problems for keeper Laura Robbins during a daily sealion talk.

Laura was coaxing the Patagonian trio out of the pool and up on to the platform to explain their daily diet with all going well until it was Shirley’s turn.

Laura said: “I got Shirley out; she came half way up the slope and then turned and jumped back into the pool. She was being really stubborn and I couldn’t persuade her back out.

“The talk usually only lasts about 10 minutes but this one must have lasted about half-an-hour as I was determined to get her on that slope.

“In that time Orry also came up three times to try to get more food, as he’s quite cheeky, and in the end I had to give up with Shirley.”

She added: “As soon as the talk had finished and visitors had started to walk away, Shirley decided to come straight up the slope of her own accord and did everything she was supposed to do earlier!”