Celebrity Seal Is Dead
ROCKPORT, Maine (AP) _ Andre the seal, who each spring swam to this community from southern New England and who performed tricks for delighted tourists at feeding time every summer afternoon, was found dead Saturday at age 25, his trainer said.
Andre’s body was found on a deserted stretch of shore in Rockland, about eight miles from his summer home, a floating pen in the harbor here, said Harry Goodridge.
Goodridge had last seen the seal in June, when Andre seemed uncharacteristica lly sluggish after apparently losing a mating-season fight.
″He’s lived a good life,,″ said Goodridge, who raised Andre after finding him as an abandoned two-day-old pup in 1961.
Goodridge said he received a tip Saturday that the body of a seal resembling the 5-foot-long, 250-pound Andre had been spotted on shore. Goodridge said he and a veterinarian confirmed it was Andre by the seal’s size and its scars.
Andre spent eight of his last 10 winters at either the Mystic Marinelife Aquarium in Mystic, Conn., or the New England Aquarium in Boston, but was released each spring to swim to his summer home, according to Mystic spokeswoman Laura Kezer.
In past years, Andre had emerged physically scarred but exuberant after his battles for dominance with other male seals, said Goodridge.
This year was different. When Andre was spotted in Rockland on June 14, he was not only bruised and scraped but also appeared tired and depressed, shunning a crowd that gathered to watch him.
Late Saturday, Goodridge recalled Andre in his prime.
″He was just great. He just loved to entertain people,″ he said.