DENBIGHSHIRE County Council spent £90,000 on relocating the six seals at Rhyl’s SeaQuarium attraction.

The attraction, along the town’s promenade, closed for good on November 27, 2023, attributing its decision to the council’s ongoing coastal works by the site.

Its owners had previously said they believed the coastal work would have a harmful impact on hearing, and induce a chronic stress response from seals with behavioural and physical welfare issues.

Following a Freedom of Information request made by the Journal, the council has confirmed that it contributed £90,000 towards finding new homes for the SeaQuarium’s six seals.

The four fur seals were moved to Flamingo Land, in Yorkshire, and the two harbour seals to Combe Martin, Devon.


Rhyl SeaQuarium confirms permanent closure ‘with a heavy heart’

Rhyl SeaQuarium closure – council and attraction embroiled in ‘ongoing legal matters’

SeaQuarium added on November 27 that some of its animals had already been offered new homes within other aquariums and zoos throughout the UK.

It also pledged to support its staff through their redundancies processes.

Denbighshire County Council had said it was working on the advice of an independent animal welfare expert, appointed by both sides, in relation to the delivery of these works and the impact on the seals.

SeaQuarium had been established in Rhyl for beyond three decades, welcomed in excess of 80,000 visitors each year, and employed more than 20 people.

The council and SeaQuarium’s owners are understood to be engaged in “ongoing legal matters”, meanwhile.

Welsh Government confirmed it did not contribute to rehoming the seals in response to a further Freedom of Information request.

In 2013, flooding in Rhyl led to 400 people being evacuated from their homes.

The council has previously said that the ongoing works in Rhyl are “essential” to protect 548 residential and 44 non-residential properties predicted to be at risk from further flooding.