Skip to Main Content

Blair Drummond announces death of beloved Poppy

3 October 2023

We are deeply saddened to announce the peaceful passing of Poppy, our beloved sea lion.  Poppy, who was our eldest sea lion at nineteen years old, had been experiencing age-related health problems in recent times. Despite the dedicated care provided by her keepers and veterinary team, it became apparent that her health was declining. As a result, putting her to sleep was determined to be the best course of action.

Lead veterinarian Romain Pizzi said, ‘Following a post-mortem examination at Edinburgh vet school, we found that Poppy had liver disease, a condition our clinical vets first noticed during ultrasound examinations and blood tests when she was anesthetized for a health assessment earlier this year. Poppy was also found to have chronic kidney disease.  Unfortunately, both conditions are normal age-related changes that are irreversible and progressive. The function of these organs would only have deteriorated further over time, regardless of any future treatments.’

Poppy was born in 2004 at Longleat Safari Park and arrived at Blair Drummond in 2005.  She was a popular member of our family here for over 18 years and her loss will be deeply felt by all who had the privilege of knowing her.

Sea Lion Team Leader Shane Belson added, ‘Poppy was an amazing sea lion to work with: sassy, confident and highly engaged with her daily training sessions.  She acted as something of a matriarch for all our group, but she was particularly close with our male Oscar.  I know many of our visitors formed a special bond with Poppy and will cherish their memories of her for years to come.’

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay up to date with latest park news, updates on the animals and events.