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Grandma Sea Lion Arrives From Massachussetts To Be Rocky’s Mate

December 17, 1992

LONDON (AP) _ Two sea lions, a grandmother and her granddaughter, arrived Thursday from a Massachusetts aquarium following an appeal for a companion for Rocky, a lonely, blind sea lion.

The Cape Cod Aquarium in Brewster, Mass., offered 13-year-old Pepper and Ursa, who is 6 months old, after the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in southwest England failed to find a mate in Britain.

Pepper is the intended mate, the sanctuary said, but giving Ursa a new home was part of the deal.

″This is a wonderful Christmas present for him,″ said Mike Thomas of the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, who met the pair at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Rocky’s original mate, Cindy, was released back into the ocean nine months ago.

Rocky was born in an aquarium in Brighton, in southern England, and was moved to the Cornish sanctuary a year ago. He has inoperable cataracts on both eyes.

″Since Rocky has been on his own ... he swims round and round his pool, and that’s a typical sign of frustration,″ said Thomas. ″He would pine away and die much earlier if he couldn’t get a mate.″

British Airways flew the pair to Britain for free.

Rocky will meet Pepper on Friday after she has recovered from the eight- hour flight and 300-mile journey to the sanctuary at Gweek, Cornwall.

The Cape Cod Aquarium closed on Sept. 22 and the animals are gradually being relocated. The New England Aquarium in Boston has been caring for its animals.

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