Creature comforts at Christmas

Ho, ho, ho - a Christmas message from Jamie Elvidge,  Dive Officer at Skegness Aquarium. ANL-170812-164308001
Ho, ho, ho - a Christmas message from Jamie Elvidge, Dive Officer at Skegness Aquarium. ANL-170812-164308001

‘Twas the night before Christmas,

And all through the tanks,

The sharks will be at the front of the queue for their Christmas dinner. ANL-170812-164323001

The sharks will be at the front of the queue for their Christmas dinner. ANL-170812-164323001

Excitement was bubbling,

As fish waited for their sprouts’

Christmas may be just another day for the animals and marine life at two Skegness attractions, but no-one misses out on a bit of festive fun.

Whether its the ‘grazers’ at Skegness Aquarium tucking into their sprouts or rescued seals tucking into their top quality herrings and sprats at Skegness Natureland, one thing is for sure, they will be looking forward to their Christmas Day dinner just like the rest of us.

Joseph Elsdon-Bird (Aquarist) cleaning out a tank at Skegness Aquarium ahead of his Christmas Day duties. ANL-170812-164220001

Joseph Elsdon-Bird (Aquarist) cleaning out a tank at Skegness Aquarium ahead of his Christmas Day duties. ANL-170812-164220001

Skegness Aquarium has been looking festive for weeks but the staff’s whacky festive hats don’t seem to have worried even the most inquisitive snake.

Roxanne Prime, the curator, said: “Christmas is just another day at the aquarium.

“There are 600 individuals and 60 species in the main tank - and they will need feeding as usual.

“We like to give them treats though - the grazers love their brussels. They are just like family really.”

Meercats are always up for fun at Christmas. This one is putting the finishing touches to his snowcat at Skegness Natureland. ANL-170812-164507001

Meercats are always up for fun at Christmas. This one is putting the finishing touches to his snowcat at Skegness Natureland. ANL-170812-164507001

On the Christmas Day rota are Joseph Elsdon-Bird (aquarist) and Stephen Collins (trainee aquarist).

Joseph said: “I’m looking forward to it. We’ll be giving out some festive cheer but when we are closed it’s a chance to spend some quality one-to-one time with the marine life and play.”

At Skegness Natureland there will be some hungry rescued seals waiting for their Christmas dinner.

The seal sanctuary rescues 30-50 seals a year and Christmas can be one of the busiest times of the year as the pups born up the coast at Donna Nook come ashore.

Could we have a New Year baby at Skegness Natureland? ANL-170812-164611001

Could we have a New Year baby at Skegness Natureland? ANL-170812-164611001

Director Richard Yeadon said: “We’ve just released some Harbour seals but have rescued our first grey seal that would have come from those born at Donna Nook and we’ll be expecting some more around Christmas.

“They’ll be having top quality herring and sprats for their Christmas dinner to help them pile on the pounds.

“Without their mothers milk they would starve so we get them onto fish straight away.

“We’ve got two penguins sat on eggs too, so you never know, we could have some New Year babies.”

Skegness Aquarium and Skegness Natureland are opening during the holidays but closed to the public on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Top quality herrings and sprats will be on the menue for this young seal at Skegness Natureland. Piling on the pounds is what Christmas is all about for the rescued seals. ANL-170812-164421001

Top quality herrings and sprats will be on the menue for this young seal at Skegness Natureland. Piling on the pounds is what Christmas is all about for the rescued seals. ANL-170812-164421001