Dame Judi Dench met a seal pup with the same name as her, and it’s the most heartwarming tale you’ll read all week.
The 88-year-old actress met a grey seal pup called Judi Dench during a visit to The Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek last month, according to the group.
Judi, a seal pup rescued off the Cornish shore, was seen by the celebrity on September 22 when Dame Judi went by the refuge in Helston with her family.
It just so happened that the organisation, which helps to save up to 70 seal pups from throughout Cornwall each winter, had also taken in the new pup at the same time.
She was found dehydrated and injured on Millook Haven Beach at the age of three weeks and was sent to hospital to be nursed back to health.
Leanne Attwood, the shelter’s fundraising manager, said it was ‘like serendipity’ that Dame Judi happened to visit the shelter on the same day her famed namesake arrived.
Leanne said how the pup got her name after the actress: ‘With our actors and actresses naming theme this season, we knew we simply had to name her after Judi Dench, who was already on our list of name suggestions.’
While she is best known for her appearances in films such as the James Bond franchise (1995 – 2015) and Mrs Brown (1997), Dame Judi is also an avid animal lover (she appeared in Cats, yanno?) with a long history of supporting sanctuaries and wildlife centres.
‘Judi was simply an absolute pleasure and very polite about the name,’ Leanne said of meeting the actress.
‘She was so excited to be able to meet pup Judi and explore behind-the-scenes of our Seal Hospital.’
So, you could say she gave it her… seal of approval. No? Ok…
The organisation stated, ‘Our animal care team is currently working hard to nurse the pup back to full health, with hopes of successfully releasing her back to the wild as soon as possible.’
While Judi the pup heals in the hospital, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary is soliciting funds to cover the costs of caring for the numerous pups that will arrive this season.
According to a press release, it costs an average of £2,000 to restore a seal pup to full health, not including any additional procedures or therapy.
Dame Judi continues to face health challenges in her own life, having previously stated she had macular degeneration, which causes a progressive loss of eyesight.
Unfortunately, due to her failing eyesight, Dame Judi can no longer see on film sets.
But she refuses to let this stop her.
Instead, she’s found creative ways to memorise her lines and get into character, such as enlisting the help of friends to teach her the scripts.
‘I mean, I can’t see on a film set anymore, and I can’t see to read, so I can’t see much. But, you know, you just deal with it. Get on,’ said the Oscar winner in an interview.
Discussing how that affected her acting, she added to The Mirror’s Notebook magazine: ‘It’s difficult for me if I have any length of a part. I haven’t yet found a way. Because I have so many friends who will teach me the script. But I have a photographic memory.’
Dame Judi is determined to continue working ‘as much as I can’ despite the difficulties her condition poses.