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REF NO.: 36

SUBJECT: Oscar the seal passes away

DATE: Oct. 7,2004

Oscar, the harbour seal who charmed thousands of visitors to Memorial University’s Ocean Sciences Centre in Logy Bay, passed away Sept. 22. He had lived to the ripe old age of 32.

Oscar moved to the OSC with Dr. Deane Renouf when she initiated the seal research at the Ocean Sciences Centre in 1975. He has come to be well known by many people at the OSC, as well as the public, with visitors bringing their children here to see him, who they remember from their own childhood visits.

“At 32 years, he has had a good life at the OSC, and, as we and the other seals well know, he was the boss of the compound,” said Daryl Jones, a research assistant at the OSC. “As the average age in the wild is 25 years, he had a long and interesting life and he has contributed to both our understanding of the biology of harbour seals, as well as our enjoyment of life.”

Five harp seals remain at the OSC, including Deane, the OSC’s first captive born female harp seal, who was named after the late Dr. Deane Renouf. To see the OSC’s harp seal tank, check out the harp seal cam at www.osc.mun.ca/seals/sealscam.html.

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Note to editors: a photo of Oscar is available at www.mun.ca/univrel/photos.html

For more information, contact Danielle Nichols, research marketing manager, at 737-2459 or Daryl Jones, research assistant, at 737-3248.

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